first published on April 9, 2017 by Will
Bodycam footage of Hezbollah fighters operating in Syria is somewhat of a rarity in contrast to other militant groups. In this video, an element of well-equipped Hezbollah troops advance through a Syrian neighborhood, engaging rebel fighters at close range and employing breeching charges to avoid choke points.
The video begins with a Hezbollah fighter attempting to usher a few of his comrades across a narrow street. Casually turning around, he suddenly recognizes an adversary just a few meters away and engages. It’s difficult to tell from the dust kick up of the impacts, but it appears as if the would-be attacker makes it to cover before several more Hezbollah fighters wildly join in the exchange.
The video then progresses with the Hezbollah element tracking blood trails and utilizing breeching charges on perimeter walls common to the architecture of Syria and Iraq. This technique allows the advancing troops to avoid doors, gates, and other choke points in the constricted urban terrain. Additionally, this increases the element of surprise when entering a contested building or neighborhood. Once through the breeches, hand grenades are thrown and the Hezbollah fighters begin making entry.
Hezbollah began sending fighters to Syria at the behest of the Assad-Regime several years ago. At that time, Hezbollah was one of the largest, best equipped, and most experienced insurgency and terrorist organizations in the region. With years of experience fighting Israel and access to Iranian weapons, the Shiite organization put its considerable weight behind the Assad-Regime and began attacking the largely Sunni anti-Assad forces. Hezbollah’s participation in Syria has further strengthened its military capabilities and may be one of the West’s largest adversaries in the post Daesh Middle East. The dragging on of the Syrian civil war will allow Iranian backed organizations like Hezbollah to keep instability ongoing and help assert its control over the region.