Hezbollah says it will continue fighting Isis

15 November 2015

Beirut bomb attacks understood to be targeting supporters of the Iranian-backed Shia militant group

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has “vowed to continue the fight against [Isis] in Syria” in a statement made after 41 people died in two suicide bombings in Lebanon on 12 November.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) said it was behind the attacks in Burj al-Barajneh, a mainly Shia suburb and Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut.

The bomb attacks were carried out in a busy shopping street with more than 200 people wounded, according to health minister Wael Abou Faour.

A statement from the army said two men wearing suicide vests carried out the attack. The first was detonated outside a Shia mosque, while the second inside a nearby bakery.

It is understood the attacks were targeting supporters of the Iranian-backed Shia militant group Hezbollah, which has been fighting in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad in northern areas held by rebel forces or Isis.

Lebanon political alliances

Lebanon’s two major camps - 8 March and 14 March - were named after demonstrations for and against Syria’s military presence in the country in 2005, a month after former prime minister Rafiq Hariri was killed by a car bomb.

8 March

Hassan Nasralah

Hassan Nasrallah

The main players of the 8 March alliance are Hezbollah (led by Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah); the Free Patriotic Movement (Maronite Christians led by Michel Aoun); and Lebanon’s second-largest Shia group, the Amal Movement. The coalition has close ties with Iran and Syria.

Regional events:
The 8 March camp will be concerned by Iranian nuclear talks and whether groups such as Hezbollah will lose financial and political support from Tehran as a result of improved relations with the US. The state of the Syrian regime will be another big concern for 8 March and Hezbollah in particular, who are helping the regime fight near the northern borders. 

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