BEIRUT: Hezbollah has held the funerals of 19 fighters killed in battles in Syria over the past 10 days, security sources told The Daily Star Thursday.
The sources, who requested to remain anonymous, said the funeral of party fighter Majd Fouad Hajj Hasan, the nephew of Hezbollah caretaker Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan, was held in the Beirut southern suburb of Burj al-Barajneh Thursday.
The sources said Hajj Hasan was killed during ongoing battles between the Syrian army and rebels around the Qalamoun range spanning Syria and Lebanon. They added that the Hezbollah fighter’s body was brought from Syria across the northern border into Lebanon at dawn Thursday.
Besides Qalamoun, Hezbollah fighters are assisting troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in other areas across Syria, including the suburbs of Damascus, where fierce battles have been taking place over the past days.
In May, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah announced that his group was fighting alongside the Syrian army to prevent the fall of the regime at the hands of takfiri groups, the term Hezbollah and the Damascus regime use to refer to Syrian rebels.
Lebanon has officially adopted a policy of disassociation from the civil war in its neighbor. In June 2012, rival political parties, including Hezbollah, also agreed to distance Lebanon from regional crises by backing a pact known as the Baabda Declaration.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on November 29, 2013, on page 1.