Iran-Lebanese Hezbollah Relationship Tracker
This series tracks Hezbollah’s relationship with Iran. Between 2008-2012, CTP tracked Hezbollah’s interactions with Iranian officials, information regarding the organization’s funding transfers of arms and material, militant operations, meetings and relations with groups and countries, and Hezbollah’s official statements.
Arms Transfers and Militant Operations
July 31: Lebanese Kataeb Bloc MP Nadim Gemayel accused Hezbollah of providing military training to members of the Lebanese Free Patriotic Movement. “There are FPM groups receiving military and field training by Hezbollah trainers in case any [security incidents] occur in Christian areas,” said Gemayel.
July 19: Anonymous American officials disclosed to the New York Times that a member of a Hezbollah cell operating in Bulgaria was responsible for the bomb attack on a group of Israeli tourists in Burgas.
July 15: The Israeli Government announced that an Iranian-Hezbollah plot to target Israeli tourists in Cyprus was foiled after the arrest of a Swedish national of Lebanese decent in the port town of Limassol. "This terror is conducted under Iran's auspices. It is part of the Iranian plan," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
July 14: Hezbollah denied that a crashed drone in northeastern Lebanon belonged to the group. Following the crash, Hezbollah officials reportedly cordoned off the area and moved the wreckage to an unknown location.
July 13: Canadian Muslim rights activist Mouna Diab was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in connection with a plot to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah.
July 1: According to Bahrain’s “al-Watan,” three people suspected of bomb making activities are believed by the Bahraini police to have received training at Hezbollah camps in Lebanon. A team from Scotland Yard has reportedly arrived in Bahrain to assist in the investigation.
June 27: Free Syrian Army Commander Riad al-Assad alleged that Hezbollah is active inside Syria. “…as for the involvement of Hezbollah fighters, we have confirmed that it is involved in events inside Syria, especially in Talkalakh and Homs. We have seen heavily armed [Hezbollah] convoys and several buses,” said al-Assad.
June 27: Lebanese security sources stated that Hezbollah’s Lebanese Resistance Brigade was behind the attack on the Al-Jadeed TV station in West Beirut. After the arrest of Wissam Alaaeddine, a suspect in the attack, members of the Lebanese Resistance Brigade blocked off several major roads in Beirut.
June 26: Free Syrian Army Commander Hossam Alawak stated that the Free Syrian Army has observed plain-clothed Hezbollah units patrolling inside Syria. “We ask Hezbollah to withdraw its patrols from the border so there are not clashes between us and them,” said Alawak.
June 8: Residents, fighters, and security sources involved in the recent violent unrest in Tripoli accuse Hezbollah of arming and financing various parties involved in the fighting.
June 5: IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz stated that Israel’s main concern with the ongoing conflict in Syria is the transfer of arms from Syria to Hezbollah. Gantz also stated that "Iran and Hezbollah are increasingly involved in Syria."
May 30: Iran is shipping arms to Hezbollah via modified passenger jets, according to a report from German television broadcaster ZDF.
May 29: Prominent Syrian human rights and political activist Haitham al-Maleh asserted his belief that the kidnapped Lebanese citizens in Syria must be members of Hezbollah. Al-Maleh also called on Hezbollah to cease sending fighters to Syria. “The men would have not been abducted if they had not been Hezbollah [members] and if jamming devices and binoculars had not been [found with them],” said al-Maleh.
May 17: Free Syrian Army Commander Colonel Qasim Saad al-Din alleged that 200 Hezbollah fighters are active in the Al-Qasir area of Syria; participating in raids on villages and mass arrests. “These [Hezbollah] forces arrested 37 Syrians, including women, and also erected roadblocks at the entry point of each of these villages,” said Saad al-Din.
May 16: According to Sadiq Musli, a member of the Syrian National Council (SNC), the SNC has obtained information indicating that elements of Hezbollah have occupied several border towns inside Syria. Musli also accused Hezbollah of acting as Iran’s arm in Syria.
May 8: Google Earth released satellite images which purport to show an extensive Hezbollah military training facility located in the Eastern Bekaa Valley, near the Jezzine area.
May 4: China’s Ambassador to Lebanon Wu Zexian disputed assertions that he possessed knowledge concerning how a Chinese manufactured anti-ship missile was used against an Israeli warship during the 2006 July War. “We are in contact with Hezbollah, but the Chinese Embassy in Beirut has nothing to do with [the group’s] arms. This is not my specialty but that of the military attaché,” said Zexian.
April 19: In a meeting with representatives from Hezbollah Al-Manar News website, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem blamed the Lebanese army for arms smuggling to rebels in Syria and claimed that “Hezbollah has nothing to do with the security or the military actions on the borders.” Qassem also said that Hezbollah is still allied with Hamas in opposition to Israel, and that this relationship was not affected by Hamas’ decision to support the Syrian rebels.
April 15: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem denied reports that Hezbollah fighters are engaged in hostilities inside Syria: “Syria does not need fighters from Hezbollah; it has both a strong population and administration.”
April 13: According to Syrian Free Army commande Colonel Riad Al-Assad Hezbollah troops are conducting active sniper operations against protesters.
March 25: Lebanese politician Antoine Saad claimed that members of Hezbollah prevented the Lebanese army from searching a truck suspected of carrying weapons. The alleged incident occurred in the Beqaa Valley area and was reportedly witnessed by local villagers. The Lebanese army denied the story.
March 18: Sources within the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) expressed alarm to Haaretz concerningSyria’s training of Hezbollah fighters in the use of advanced anti-aircraft weapon systems. According to the same sources, weapons transfers from Syria have increased since the beginning of the revolt against the Assad regime. "The potential of escalation in Lebanon is huge, and Hezbollah continues to strengthen with regard to long-range weaponry and potential 'surprises' on the battlefield; we will have to find answers to the transfer of antiaircraft weaponry,” said a senior IDF officer.
February 23: Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor expressed concern about Hezbollah operations in West Africa during a meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC). Prosor told the UNSC that Hezbollah is operating a West African criminal network dealing in gun smuggling, drug trafficking, and money laundering.
February 21: Azerbaijani Ministry of National Security announced that Azerbaijan has disabled terrorist cells operating inside Azerbaijan, including Hezbollah. The terrorist groups were reportedly comprised of foreign citizens and are accused of illegally gathering weapons, ammunitions, and explosive devices.
February 17: An unnamed senior Israeli counterterrorism official claimed that Israeli intelligence is in possession of information which indicates that Hezbollah and Iran are continuing to target Israeli interests abroad. The official did not name specific countries or give any further details on potential targets.
January 29: Mayor of Aarsal, Syria Ali Houjayri denied that Hezbollah forces clashed with local Aarsal residents last month. Hezbollah had reportedly attempted to arrest two members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) residing in Aaral. The same report claimed the clash lasted for thirty minutes and that Hezbollah was not successful in arresting the FSA members.
January 13: Thai police arrested suspected Lebanese Hezbollah militant Atris Hussein in Bangkok on charges of illegal weapons possession. The arrest came as a result of a tip from Israeli intelligence and came shortly after the U.S. Embassy issued a warning regarding a possible terrorist attack to American citizens in Thailand. Hussein led police on January 16 to a warehouse where he had been massing bomb making materials.