By Ali Bluwi
The Syrian rebels confirmed that the 11 Lebanese affiliated with Hezbollah oversaw the massacres in Syria. The arrested men belonged to the intelligence section of Hezbollah. Among the arrested were a nephew of Hassan Nasrallah and the intelligence official of the Iranian’s Jerusalem force. Interestingly, Hezbollah accused Ankara to be behind the kidnapping of the 11 Lebanese. And yet, due to the gravity of the situation, Hezbollah offered secretly an amount of $12 million for their release. Later, the offer reached $20 and even $50 millions but to no avail.
Amid this new crisis, Nasrallah found nothing but the language of threat. At a time when he was trying to reach a deal with the rebels, the latter demanded that he apologize to the Syrian people for his party’s support to Assad. Now Hezbollah confirms that one of the Western intelligence apparatuses leaked the plan of the transfer of one of the leaders from Lebanon into Syria.
This accusation was made at a time Hezbollah’s official narrative said that the arrested team came from Tehran through Baghdad. But sources confirm that there was a high-ranking meeting between the Jerusalem Force, the Syrian intelligence and Hezbollah. They were surprised to be arrested by the rebels though.
Hezbollah received information from the Russian intelligence that stated that a cell belonged to Hezbollah fell under the rebels. The Russian intelligence added that some external body would make sure that they get whisked out of Syria. This what pushed Nasrallah to threaten as if he is dealing with Israel rather than the Syrian people yearning for freedom.
Sources close to Hezbollah indicated that the arrest of its men would have impact on the future of the organization because Nasrallah’s nephew is the one in charge of the security of information at the party and also the security coordinator between the Iranian and the Syrian intelligence.
Additionally, the person in charge of the Jerusalem Force’s intelligence wing is among the arrested. He is the in charge of security coordination with the Iraqi Shiite party and with the Iraqi security apparatus. He is also a liaison officer with pro Iran people in the Arabian Gulf states.
One of the most important names among the arrested is Hussein Hamoda, the deputy head of the department in charge of assassinations and explosions. Also among them is Ali al-Zughei, who deals with the mujaheddin and has a relationship with extreme radical organizations.
Additionally, among the arrested is Hassan Arzoni, the head of the
intelligence of Hezbollah in Bint Jubail and who is instructed to keep an eye on Lebanese ports.
Also Ali Safa — a nephew of Hassan Nasrallah — was among them. He is in charge of the security of information and the head of the department in charge of external security coordination for the party. Also among the arrested is Hussein al-Silati who is in charge of training camps for the party.
A few days ago, the supreme leader of the Iranian revolution, Ali Khamenei, expressed his anger at Israel. He threatened to wipe off Israel from the map. We have seen this movie before. One threatened to throw Israel in the sea and another one promised to burn half of Israel. For this reason, we realize that these statements are only smokescreen that hides a state of hopelessness and a huge internal failure.
The secret behind the wrath of the supreme leader is that Israel conveyed a message to Iran through Russia that the virus that hit Iran’s computers and the sets of control was indeed manufactured by Tel Aviv. Israel confessed. But what the supreme leader can do especially when Assad is facing the seventh charter.
And yet, the question that arises is about the arrested officials of Hezbollah and what they may say about the party and its link to the Syrian crisis and the relationship of Tehran with the Syrian issue. Will the party get exposed? Obviously the arrested officials are a priceless prey.
On the other hand, the Houla massacre will break the back of the Syrian regime. It reminds us of the massacre of al-Dujeil that was committed by Saddam’s regime and the Camel face-off of Mubarak. Therefore, it is not an external conspiracy, as the regime wrongly argues. It has to do with an extended period of impoverishing people thus transforming them into slaves.
There is an irony here. How can it be that those who were prosecuted in their bid for freedom now support Assad who has been subjecting his people to systematic repression? How can al-Maliki for instance support Assad who has been doing to his people what Saddam had done to his people? Why did Tehran threaten Muqtada Sadr and told him to support al-Maliki? Why did Russia whisper in the Americans’ ears saying the Yemeni approach will be accepted in Syria if the Americans give Russia the time?
The problem of Hassan Nasrallah is that information taken from the arrested 11 Lebanese indicates that there was a secret decision to transfer newly made Scud missiles.
These missiles were to be transferred from Iran through Iraq to be deployed in southern Lebanon. It transpired that the Hezbollah was instructed by Tehran to open a front with Israel in case Syria is attacked or if Israel strikes at Iran’s nuclear facilities. For this reason, Israel was given a green light from Washington to do what it takes to bring down Assad’s regime. According to this plan, Israel is to hit hard Syrian Special Forces while leaving some units in the army to stage an internal coup. This time Hezbollah will not be taken off the hook as it happened during the last confrontation with Israel in 2006.
In brief, Assad’s regime has failed to convince the public with its so-called reformist political discourse. According to some intelligence reports, there are political and security cracks within the ruling elite. This is true, as the sectarian issue has not yet flared up as they had wished.
The Syrian people have proved to be too cautious to be dragged into a civil war. As Annan confessed the failure of his plan, it seems that the only option left is taking Syria under the seventh chapter of the U.N. charter. It is likely that a Yemeni like initiative is on its way with the backing of Moscow this time.
(The writer is a Saudi columnist. The article was published in Arab News and Al-Arabia)