Reports & News

Houthis hold a poster of Hassan Nasrallah. (AP)

Mon - 26 Jul 2021 - 07:10 PM ،،،

 The first signs of Hezbollah’s shift to a regional posture in support of Iranian interests were structural and involved moving key personnel from positions focused on Israel to those involving Iraq, Yemen and Syria, said a report entitled 'Hezbollah’s Regional Activities in Support of Iran’s Proxy Networks' published on Monday, by the Washington-based Middle East Institute.

Hezbollah’s transformation into a regional actor is underscored by the assignment of key personnel from the group’s Southern Command along the border with Israel to new fronts around the region, including Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

Even prior to the Syrian civil war, Hezbollah fighters began deploying around the region — albeit in much smaller numbers — to support Iranian objectives in places like Iraq, and later, Yemen.

In Yemen, too, the State Department explained, Hezbollah dispatched trusted and proven commanders “to provide training, materiel, and personnel” — alongside Iranian IRGC-QF officers — in support of Houthi rebels. According to the U.S. government, Khalil Harb, a former special operations commander and a close adviser to Nasrallah, oversaw Hezbollah’s activities in Yemen — managing the transfer of funds to the organization within the country — and travels to Tehran to coordinate them with Iranian officials.

Hezbollah also sent battle-hardened commanders like Abu Ali Tabtabai, a senior Hezbollah commander first sent from southern Lebanon where he faced off with Israeli forces in Syria, but was then quickly redeployed from there to Yemen to upgrade the Houthis’ guerilla tactics training program.