The Iranian Revolutionary Guard announced that Hezbollah responded to Iranian request to 'safeguard Syrian assets'. It is a sign of desperation on the part of Syria and Iran to admit this. Hezbollah is a Shiite terror group. The US State department has officially designated it as a terror group after it carried out the first large-scale suicide bombings with its 1983 attack on US barracks in Beirut that killed over 200 US servicemen, and about 50 Frenchmen. For Syria to admit using these thugs to repress their own people is unseemly. Then again, they don't care very much what the world thinks, only what it does.
The tension between Sunni and Shiites also manifested itself in Egypt, where Sunnis (Salafists) have taken over the patronage of Hamas from Iran. Now, Egypt is becoming an Islamist power itself, with Islamist winning three quarters (!) of seats in the parliament. Hamas no longer needs to follow Shiite Iran, as it did when it was the sole explicitly Islamist power in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, the Arab League is going to ask today for a month-long extension of its ineffectual mission, which has failed to halt the murder of Syrians by their own government. At the same time Saudi Arabia is pulling out its 10 monitors from Syria, citing total failure of the mission. The unusual dissonance between the Arab League and Saudi Arabia is a sign of sharpening of divisions between the Sunni and Shiite blocks. Saudi Arabia has successfully helped Bahrain to repress Shiites incited by Iran, which could only complain at the time. This potential spark for Sunni-Shiite conflict was too small, and was extinguished too quickly to lead to an enlargement of the conflict.
The entry of Hezbollah into Syria for repression of Sunnis is very significant. It has the potential for internationalization of the simmering civil war in Syria into a fully-fledged Sunni-Shiite conflict, involving bigger players. Roughly three quarters of Syrians and Sunnis. They have been ruled by Alawite minority (~ 10% of population) to which the Assad clan belongs. Now, Shiite terrorists from Lebanon and going to start repressing the Sunni majority (74% of population) in Syria at the behest of its Iranian puppet masters.
|Their flag or advertisement for Kalashnikov rifles?|