Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Last Reserves?

I recently wrote that Hezbollah has sent their elite special forces to the Aleppo front to assist Assad's war effort. I asked if this was escalation or desperation by representing a replacement for the Hezbollah infantry who no longer want to fight for Assad:

[Is] the deployment of the most trained unit in Hezbollah a sign that the rank and file are now too unhappy to really trust for offensive operations on behalf of Assad?

That is, is the unit being sent not as a special operations force to support the Hezbollah line units but as a loyal infantry unit that will fulfill the role of the shock troops of the offensive because the line units are no longer willing to carry out that role?

Well, if this is still true, it is closer to desperation:

Iran ordered Hezbollah into Syria after 2011 and the heavy Hezbollah losses there were unpopular with Lebanese Shia and Hezbollah eventually had to pull most of Hezbollah forces back to the Lebanon border and concentrate on keeping Islamic terrorists out of Lebanon. Iran took a huge popularity hit in Lebanon by forcing Hezbollah to enter the Syrian war in defense of the Assad government, which is hated by most Lebanese as well as most Syrians. [emphasis added]

The Aleppo front is far from Assad's core areas and has a lot of people. How likely is it that Assad has enough ground forces to defend the lines up to Aleppo, go on the offensive, and hold the people they take control of if the offensive action is successful?

So how likely is it that Hezbollah's elite Radwan Forces can avoid being sucked into the frontline as an infantry force to make up for too few regular forces reliable enough to fight it out with rebels?