The Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) often boast about their “heroics” on the battlefield, while also belittling their enemy as “Nusayri cowards” for their willingness to retreat; however, this optimistic tone quickly changes when they encounter a Hezbollah contingent on the same battlefield.
Why is that?
When the opposition forces encounter the Syrian Armed Forces on the battlefield, they know the battle will end once one of the two parties withdraws from the front.
When the opposition forces encounter Hezbollah, they know that these men will not retreat and they won’t surrender.
Hezbollah soldiers were trained to welcome death as the ultimate reward for their sacrifice on the battlefield; this belief makes ordinary men into fearsome warriors that strive for victory, regardless of the cost.
In a matter of two months, these fearsome warriors that derive from southern Lebanon, southern Beirut, and Ba’albak have helped their allies in the Syrian Arab Army recapture a large chunk of southern Aleppo, while also allowing for their advance towards the provincial capital of the Idlib Governorate.
What is so important about Idlib City?
The predominately Shi’i towns of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya are situated to the north of Idlib City – they were besieged by the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham for almost three months before a ceasefire agreement allowed for aid to reach the 40k civilians in these towns.
For Hezbollah, the liberation of these two Shi’i towns near the provincial capital of the Idlib Governorate is a top priority for them.
Sacrificing their lives to free the trapped Shi’i civilians of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya is a moral imperative that motivates these men.