Hezbollah was founded in 1982 as a Shiite Muslim militant group and a political party.It appeared in the aftermath of Israel’s incursion and occupation of Lebanon. The United States and the European Union have blacklisted Hezbollah as a terrorist group following its involvement in terror attacks. Sponsored by Iran, Hezbollah has been embroiled in a war with Israel over the years. Lately, the group entered Syria to fight alongside the embattled Assad regime (Masters, 2015). Its inspiration is mainly based on the denial of legitimate existence Israeli State, and the need to preserve the interests of Shiite Muslims throughout the Middle East.
The fundamental justification for the existence of Hezbollah and its military aggression is distaste for Israel and its Western allies. In its 1985 manifesto, Hezbollah states its position against the involvement of the United States and Israel in Lebanese affairs and calls for a complete destruction of Israel. It views Israel as the most formidable enemy of the Muslims. The manifesto states that the Zionist (Israel) has been an aggressive state since its establishment, and it is built on the land grabbed from the Muslim people. Hezbollah vows never to relent in its fight against Israel. It will recognize no treaty, truce, or peace agreements. Aware of retaliatory attacks from Israel, the group proclaims itself as the defender of Lebanon people against Zionist aggression (Masters, 2015).
The Shiite group’s move to send its forces to Syria is part of a wide scheme orchestrated by its main sponsor, Iran (a Shiite majority nation), to defend Shiite Muslims from the aggression of Sunni Muslims. Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian civil war where a majority of Sunni militant group (including ISIS) fight to oust Assad’s regime and establish a caliphate is also seen as a strategy to guard the interests of Shia Muslims in the Middle East (Masters, 2015). However, the group’s leader claims that its involvement in Syria is meant to prevent the Syrian war from extending to Lebanon (Gilbert, 2013).
In summary, Hezbollah is a Shiite Muslims group with political and military wings. The group is against western policies and existence of an Israeli State. Consequently, it has been in perpetual wars seeking the destruction of Israel, an objective that is enshrined in its manifesto, and to protect Lebanon from Israeli attacks. The move to send forces to Syria marked a revolutionary point for Hezbollah, depicting its commitment to protect the interests of the minority Shia Muslims throughout the region.
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