After a year and a half of conflict, and despite some 40,000 deaths, the world still stands impotent to end the bloodshed in Syria.
With Russia and China reviving their recurring role as United Nations Security Council obstructionists, concerned countries have been forced to seek out meaningful measures of their own. And while the United States and Europe have been unified on sanctions designed to cut off funding to the Assad regime, the Europeans have left one main artery of support pumping. It’s time for the European Union to designate Lebanon’s Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and in so doing, cut off one of the only reliable lifelines Assad has left.
According to the U.S. State Department, Hezbollah has since the early days of the current unrest been providing “training, advice and extensive logistical support” to the Assad regime.
America’s U.N. ambassador Susan Rice has called Hezbollah operatives “part of Assad’s killing machine” who “prop up a murderous and desperate dictator.” And in a newly released letter, a group of 20 Syrian dissidents, activists and rebels, some of whom are still risking their lives in Syria, have themselves implored the EU to designate and sanction Hezbollah for its “cynical and barbaric support of a mass murdering regime.”
The letter from the Syrian activist states:
“We, the dissidents and activists of Syria, feel that given the West’s failure to provide the Syrian opposition with military equipment, or to intervene to stop Assad’s butchery, the least the EU can do is make it harder for those actors helping him on the ground.
We strongly urge the European Union to designate and sanction Hezbollah for its cynical and barbaric support of a mass murdering regime.
Akil Hashem, Brig Gen (Ret.), Syrian Army
Ammar Abdulhamid, dissident, writer
Khawla Yusuf, dissident, writer
Nada Kiwan, medical doctor, activist Farha Barzai, activist
Amer al-‐Sadeq, Representative, Syrian Revolution Coordinators Union
Helen Abduldayem, activist for the Syrian Opposition and nursery school in Homs
Nadia Nashawi, Syrian opposition activist
Mouna Akil Hashem, Syrian opposition activist
Hamza al-‐Fahker, journalist, Syrian opposition activist
Mahmoud Elzour, Syrian rebel
Ahmad Rahban, Communications Manager, Strategic Research & Communications Centre
Khaled El-‐Ekhteyar, journalist
Mr. Mohanad Mahdi, Professional Engineer
Mr. Tom Fala Activist
Ms. Noura Almasri Syrian American activist
Mr. Osama Nahas, M.D.
Ms. Hanne Groenligen Grass Roots Activist and humanist
Mr. Bradford E. Helms, semi-‐retired, Human Rights activist for Syria
Mr. Bashar Alawad, M.D.”
Ilana Decker, North America Director for the Henry Jackson Society said: “It’s high time that the European Union joins the ranks of the United States, Canada, Holland and Australia in granting Hezbollah its rightful classification as a terrorist organisation. If not for the many legitimate reasons that have come before, the petition of various Syrian dissidents and activists to sever support for Hezbollah should provide the final straw. The perverse reality that Hezbollah continues to operate openly and freely in much of Europe while serving as a vibrant lifeline to Bashar Assad’s murderous activity in Syria must be promptly reversed.”
Recently, The Henry Jackson Society released its publication, “Timeline of Terror: A Concise History of Hezbollah” which has served as an educational tool for legislators and media.
Henry Jackson Society experts are on hand to discuss the conflict, recent developments, and to take part in media interviews.