Hezbollah tips Syria power balance, polarizes Lebanon

Reuters reports: Lebanese have long viewed the Hezbollah guerrilla army as a state-within-a-state. But having watched it launch a military adventure in Syria and brutality on the streets of Beirut, they feel ever more hostage to the Islamist group’s regional agenda.

Within minutes of a busload of unarmed demonstrators arriving on Sunday at the Iranian embassy in Beirut to protest against Iran and Hezbollah’s military involvement in Syria, Hezbollah enforcers surrounded the building and scattered the crowd with batons and gunfire, leaving one dead.

The small demonstration by an anti-Hezbollah crowd showed that the “Party of God”, armed and financed by Iran, is not prepared to contemplate even the smallest level of threat.

Such visibly frayed nerves in Lebanon’s capital follow the Shi’ite group’s dramatically increased involvement in the two-year-old Syrian civil war, helping troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad retake the border town of Qusair.

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