In late December 2015, Lebanese journalist Carol Malouf held an in-depth interview with two Hezbollah captives of Jabhat al-Nusra. The interview appears to be the first of its kind: Hezbollah members speaking candidly about the group’s organization and methods. Naturally, the fact that their remarks were made in captivity means their testimony must be taken with a grain of salt. Their remarks nonetheless shed light on the Syrian Civil War’s effects on Hezbollah’s relationship with Lebanon’s Shiites, and its exploitation of that community as foot soldiers for its military goals.

Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria has aroused popular discontent against the party in Lebanon, even within its Shiite base. As part of the organization’s battle to keep the Bashar al-Assad regime in power, the community has lost hundreds of its sons on Syria’s battlefields and suffered terrorist attacks by Sunni extremists—all with no tangible returns. Despite their anger, however, Lebanese Shiites have yet to collectively turn their backs on the party.

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