As the conflict in Syria drags on, pro-government fighters near the country’s borders are turning for increasing support to their allies in neighbouring territories.
Shia towns well inside Lebanon are being deliberately targeted by anti-Assad groups because of their allegiance to the regime, and many fear the country is being drawn into the fight.
Two issues are raised here:
The first is that Davies says Hezbollah in Lebanon are being ‘drawn into’ the fighting in Syria…by provocative shelling by Sunni’s in Syria of Shia towns in Lebanon.
No mention that Hezbollah are in effect Iran’s proxy army in Lebanon, and he gives the impression that they are reluctant to fight….their ‘resolve to stay out of the conflict is being tested’.
Davies does not seem to have kept up with his colleagues who report Hezbollah as being heavily involved in the fighting:
They say the Iranians are also funding, training and arming recently-formed local Popular Committee militias, separate from the shabiha militia network, seeing them as a structure they could continue to rely on if the regime should collapse and fall back on the Alawite-dominated areas on the north-west coast and its hinterland.
Iran’s Hezbollah allies from Lebanon are also pitching in on the ground, fighting rebels around the important Shia shrine at Sayyida Zeinab on the southern edge of Damascus, and Shia villages in Homs province to the west.
Well-placed diplomats believe Hezbollah is also providing part of the regime’s inner praetorian guard, as some of the big Alawite clans have become so alienated by the level of casualties they have suffered that their members are no longer regarded as fully reliable.’
Davies’ reporting contrasts starkly with the BBC’s reporting on Israel’s reactions to continuous bombardment by Palestinians in which the Israelis are usually portrayed as overreacting or as being the actual aggressors themselves.
The second issue is that the BBC handles religiously inspired violence differently here.
Islam abroad is no longer the ‘Religion of Peace’ that the BBC et al portray it to be in the UK.
In a Sunni Mosque in Lebanon Wyre reports that young men are being radicalized and fired up by calls from senior clerics for Jihad…Holy War.
A cleric states that ‘This is a legitimate fatwa, a ruling from God, from the Koran….the people of Syria need our help….they [the fighters] will be rewarded by God.’
I can’t see the BBC showing a similar statement from an Imam in the UK should he be so disposed to say such a thing….for instance in regard to Muslim bombers claiming to be acting in the name of Allah to save their fellow Muslims in foreign climes from the unwanted military actions of the infidel Westerners….at least not without the usual warning ….”The Muslim community in XXXXXX wishes to make one thing absolutely clear: These acts are not carried out in our name.”‘
And yet what’s the difference? Sunni Muslims in Lebanon go to the help of their fellow Muslims in Syria…..but the Sunnis also attack Shia towns in Lebanon….Davies says the Sunnis are recruiting to battle Shia Hezbollah as well…in other words a religiously inspired civil war could easily start in Lebanon.