Middle East

Hezbollah Yabroud song angers opposition

BEIRUT: A song saluting Hezbollah’s offensive in the Qalamoun region of Syria has outraged members of the country’s opposition, who are accusing the Lebanese party of engaging in sectarian incitement to drum up support for its involvement in the war.

Ali Barakat, a singer of religious anthems, posted the video on YouTube Thursday. The video has received nearly 40,000 views but several other YouTube postings of the song have also appeared, meaning an even higher viewership.

The nearly six-minute-long anthem “Ihsam Nasrak bi Yabroud,” addressed to the party and its supporters, can be loosely translated as “Achieve your decisive victory in Yabroud.”

Opposition figure Farah Atassi, writing on Facebook, said the song should be turned over to the U.N. as evidence of sectarian incitement.

Walid al-Bunni, an opposition politician, asked angrily whether Syrians needed to add a “criminal” like Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah to their list of enemies.

“We already have enough with Bashar and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” he said, referring to, respectively, Syria’s president and the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, an Al-Qaeda splinter group.

The song’s lyrics, which salute Hezbollah’s role in earlier campaigns against the towns of Nabk and Qusair, and label the Syrian rebels as “takfiri” extremists, enraged opposition supporters.

They also took exception to being put in the same category as Israel, based on the rhyming lyric “We’ve defeated the armies of the Jews, and now it’s your turn, Yabroud.”

The video that accompanies the song features a map of the area, with the yellow Hezbollah flag planted in and fluttering over Yabroud.

It also contains shots of the party’s fighters conducting mock battles, mixed with actual footage of military operations, presumably from the party’s earlier exploits in Syria.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 18, 2014, on page 8.




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