Is Hezbollah Planning to Return to Syria and Why?

Hezbollah‘s Iran-backed militias are banking on their return and redeployment in Syria amid recent developments on the scene, especially Israel’s repeated airstrikes on Syria and confrontations targeting Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Revolutionary Guard, as well as Iran’s expansion of its strategy in the region.

The militias aim to escalate the front with Israel, intending to carry out strikes from within Syrian territory closer to Israel once their soldiers have been trained to use drones in Iran. Tehran and Hezbollah seek to shift the war to drone and missile strikes in the future.

The Iran-affiliated militia “Al-Imam Al-Hussein” and the “Al-Ridwan Force,” affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, are seeking to redeploy in Syria and convert part of their infrastructure there. Israeli airstrikes in the Al-Qusayr area in Homs targeted the “Al-Imam Al-Hussein” and “Al-Ridwan Force,” killing one of its members in the airstrike, reopening the door to a return and escalation of the war.

The latest Israeli airstrikes in Syria saw at least six fighters from pro-Iranian militias killed in the strike on Al-Qusayr.

Targeting Hezbollah Headquarters

Israeli strikes targeted Hezbollah‘s headquarters in the Al-Qusayr area in Homs province near the Lebanese border, while another strike hit a headquarters used by a pro-Iranian militia south of the city of Homs, prompting the party to redeploy its troops more significantly in Syria to confront Israeli strikes.

Israeli targeting of Iran’s presence in Syria and Hezbollah everywhere has taken an unprecedented turn, threatening total confrontation after the death toll reached an unbearable level for Hezbollah, justifying major military intervention, and thus the party seeks to avoid areas where UNIFIL forces are present.

Hezbollah, with support from Tehran, seeks to increase its presence in Syria compared to Lebanon to exert pressure on Israel in several ways, especially since northern Israel is being struck by pro-Iranian Iraqi militias, and thus the party’s presence in Syria constitutes a more intense deployment against the strikes.

Syrian political commentator Salman Shib believes that for over ten years, Hezbollah militias have intervened in Syria, with the Syrian regime being the party’s strongest ally in the region, supporting it in its Iran-sponsored projects. The party present in Syria informally seeks to support the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in their confrontation with Israel from the Syrian side.

Shib adds that most Hezbollah members in Syria today are young recruits from the mobilization unit, after most senior military officials and cadres were withdrawn, fearing being targeted, as happened with Imad Mughniyah and Mustafa Badreddine, and the current war has opened the door to targeting leaders, so the party seeks to escalate in response to Israeli strikes in Syria.

Lebanese political commentator Tony Habib states that what is happening now in Syria are preemptive Israeli strikes aimed at hitting elements of Iranian militias who only oversee combat after personally participating in battles during their initial phase of entry into Syria, and Hezbollah wants to redeploy to respond to Israel more effectively than now.

Habib emphasizes that Hezbollah‘s role in Syria complements that of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, with their strategic mission being to support keeping the Syrian regime alive, especially as Russian presence has dwindled due to the war in Ukraine, so their deployment serves Iran’s strategic interests.

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