Why Hezbollah is keeping its powder dry
Hezbollah is “thought to be the world’s most heavily armed non-state actor”, says Katie Stallard in The New Statesman, with an estimated arsenal of around 150,000 rockets and missiles. The Iran-backed Lebanese militia is led by 63-year-old Hassan Nasrallah, who took over in 1992, aged just 31, after the founding leader Abbas al-Musawi was assassinated by Israeli helicopter gunships. Nasrallah “drove the group’s political emergence” by supplying social services like schooling and medical care to supporters at a time when the Lebanese government couldn’t. Hezbollah’s political wing scored seats in parliament and even cabinet positions; when Israel pulled troops out of southern Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah “took control of many of the evacuated villages”.