Syria’s al-Hasakeh residents openly oppose Hizbullah presence

Residents of the city of al-Hasakeh in northeastern Syria woke up on June 28 to find anti-Hizbullah leaflets strewn in the Security Square area, which is controlled by Syrian regime forces and their affiliated militias.

The message, disseminated quickly on paper and on social media, was titled “Lebanese Pilgrims Among Us”.

It featured a crossed-out photo of Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and the slogan, “No to Hizbullah, no to evil Nasr in al-Hasakeh.”

“The Lebanese Hizbullah is Iran’s most important proxy militia, and wherever it goes, instability prevails and heinous crimes are committed,” the text said.

It said that the party “gets its funding from the smuggling and transfer of illegal drugs, without any regard for the harm such activities cause”, adding that every month, Hizbullah brings in “more and more weapons into al-Hasakeh”.

According to the leaflet, Hizbullah conceals its presence in the regime’s bases in the Security Square and is secretly working to undermine security and stability.

Led by an operative named Hajj Mahdi, it said, the party attempts to recruit al-Hasakeh’s youth and “turn them against their own families by making them agents of foreign forces”.

The message concluded by saying, “We, the people of al-Hasakeh, do not accept this. We have suffered enough. We do not want or appreciate Hizbullah’s presence in our city.”

Rapidly increasing IRGC activity

Media activist Ammar Saleh said this is the first time the public has openly expressed frustration with Hizbullah’s presence in al-Hasakeh, causing confusion and disarray in the ranks of the Syrian regime’s security forces.

These forces have imposed strict security measures and are in a heightened state of alert in anticipation of public protests spreading, Saleh said.

Al-Hasakeh is strategic for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) due to its proximity to areas where the United States maintains a presence, said Syrian journalist Mohammed al-Abdullah.

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