Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
03:19 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
21 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Southern suburbs receive dead from Qusair
A+ A-

BEIRUT: As Hezbollah and its supporters prepared to celebrate the May 25, 2000, withdrawal of Israeli troops from south Lebanon, the atmposphere was glum at the Iran-funded Rassoul al-Aazam Hospital, where their wounded fighters, back from Syria’s Qusair, were seeking treatment.

A middle-aged man waited anxiously on a bench in the hospital’s main hall Wednesday, surrounded by members of his family. When another man emerged from the emergency room to tell him the news in a hushed tone, he burst into tears.

“We have to face it, we are dealing with the repercussions of the crisis in Syria,” said a third man.

Many others in the hospital waited impatiently for news about their loved ones. They were reluctant to speak to the media. Hezbollah men, bearded and wearing black, could be seen in and around the building.

The scene has become a common occurrence at the Rassoul al-Aazam Hospital located in a southern suburb of Beirut, as this is where the dead and wounded Hezbollah fighters are brought from the battlefields of Syria.

Hezbollah’s death toll has risen after the Syrian army, backed by the party’s fighters, launched a massive offensive in the Syrian town of Qusair near the border with Lebanon Sunday. Hezbollah fighters and Syrian troops also took over most of the rural areas in the Qusair province in the past month.

Now the old posters of Hezbollah fighters slain in the July 2006 War against Israel have been replaced with new ones of those who perished in Qusair or the suburbs of Damascus.

The party maintains it is defending the Shrine of Sayyida Zeinab, the granddaughter of Prophet Mohammad, against attacks by Syrian rebels in a suburb of Damascus.

“Of course we feel grief for the loss of young men,” said a man who works in a shop in the Beirut southern suburb of Burj al-Barajneh.

“But we also feel proud of those martyrs who are defending their villages and our shrines,” he added, refusing to be identified by the media.

Hezbollah argues that its fighters are merely defending the Lebanese-inhabited Syrian villages in Qusair along with religious shrines.

Along with the photos of new martyrs, yellow Hezbollah flags fluttered in the southern suburbs, reading: “May 25: Resistance and Liberation Day, a Will that is Never Broken.”

Saturday marks 13 years since Israel’s withdrawal from south Lebanon, a day the party celebrates by holding rallies across the country. For the occasion, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah will address a rally in the Bekaa Valley village of Mashgara.

For the owner of a clothing shop in Burj al-Barajneh, Hezbollah fighters battling in Qusair are no different than those who fought against Israel in 2006.

“Hezbollah is protecting us and protecting Lebanon,” he said. “We defended ourselves against Israel and we are doing the same thing now against those takfiri groups.”

Hezbollah and the Syrian regime refer to the Syrian rebels as “takfiri,” an extreme form of Islam that considers Muslims who do not subscribe to their ideologies as infidels.

“They are planning to enter Lebanon and fight us, we are making a pre-emptive strike,” he added.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 23, 2013, on page 3.
Home Lebanon News
 
     
 
Lebanon
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
More from
Wassim Mroueh
 
 
The president who never was: Bachir
 
 
Meeting fails to resolve row between Future, grand mufti
 
 
Schools face brunt of fresh salary bill strikes
 
 
Killing of Al-Manar crew draws condemnation
 
 
Helou: a president of the Chehabist era
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Monday April 21, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS