Hezbollah: Origins, Actions, and Regional Significance

  Oct 21, 2023

Hezbollah: Origins and Geopolitics

Q1: What is Hezbollah?

Answer: Hezbollah, translating to “Army of God” , is a Shiite political party with a military wing based in Lebanon.

Q2: How did Hezbollah originate?

Answer: During the Lebanese civil war from 1975 to 1990, Hezbollah emerged mainly due to the discontent caused by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's (PLO) significant armed presence in Lebanon. Post the 1979 Iranian revolution, it was founded by Lebanese Shiites funded by Iran's Revolutionary Guard to resist Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

Q3: What significant actions has Hezbollah undertaken?

Answer: In 1983, Hezbollah executed blasts killing 299 American and French troops in Beirut. It has also been involved in various conflicts, most notably supporting President Basheer Al-Assad during the Syrian Civil war.

Q4: Who leads Hezbollah?

Answer: Since 1992, Hassan Nasrallah has been the Secretary-General of Hezbollah.

Q5: What is Hezbollah's political influence in Lebanon?

Answer: Hezbollah's political arm is one of the most influential in Lebanon, securing a large number of votes in legislative elections.

Q6: How is Hezbollah militarily equipped?

Answer: Reports suggest Hezbollah has around 100,000 trained fighters. Additionally, it possesses a significant arsenal, including missiles and rockets, with significant support in arms and training from Iran.

Q7: Which countries label Hezbollah as a terrorist organization?

Answer: The US, the UK, Israel, and Germany have designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Q8: Why is Israel particularly concerned about Hezbollah?

Answer: Israel is concerned about Hezbollah's advanced missile systems funded by Iran, which could be used to target locations within Israel from Lebanon and Syria.

Q9: How has Hezbollah been involved in the Syrian Civil War?

Answer: Hezbollah was used by Iran to support President Basheer Al-Assad during the Syrian Civil war against primarily Sunni Muslim forces.

Q10: What are the potential implications of an escalation involving Hezbollah?

Answer: Given Hezbollah's military capabilities, alignment with Iranian interests, and its arsenal, any escalation could threaten regional stability and pose significant risks to civilian safety.
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