What is the death toll of Hezbollah fighters in Syria?
This issue is still a matter of debate since the beginning of Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria on the side of the Syrian Regime. And the Party of God adds to this ambiguity, by not providing any numbers or other comprehensive information.
The only official statement from Hezbollah came in early December 2013, when its secretary general, Hasan Nasrallah, revealed that the number is less than 250. Around the same time, Syrian opposition(s) and anti-Hezbollah Lebanese groups claimed that the death toll is higher than 500, and even exceeds the 1,000 threshold. Only the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) was in range with Hezbollah’s declaration. It put the number of deaths at 232 on 1 December 2013. The latest SOHR count on 13 March 2014 stands at the number of 332. (Note that SOHR doesn’t provide any list or details.)
To know the real number of killed Hezbollah fighters, i decided to follow the funerals.
The official Hezbollah news agencies and sites are the primary source of this research. However, they do not cover all funerals, and their information are not categorized, thus making it hard to find all the required data. To complement this research, I looked also into Pro-Hezbollah websites, and cross-referenced the information. These websites are rife with mistakes, for example, citing the same killed fighter several times under different combinations of his name, his father’s name, his nom de guerre, etc.
I drew up a list of 322 killed fighter (which is close to the latest SOHR’s figure.) For 9 of them i couldn’t find funerals information. Usually a funeral takes place in the following days of the fighter’s death. But on several occasion, they were held months later pending the retrieval of the body. Most of the fighters were buried in the place of their origin or of their residency. However, several fighters were buried in the communal Hezbollah graveyard in Ghobeiri, while others were buried, according to their will, in Sayyidah Zaynab.
Of course this is not an exhaustive list, and the numbers can be higher, but for sure they are much less than what most anti-Hezbollah groups claim. In this sense, we have to congratulate the Party of God, since the figure advanced by his secretary general is the closest to reality … a reality that left dead young men in nearly every village and town in South Lebanon and Baalbek area.
To check the list and references, please follow this link.
Please click on the map for a larger view.
This blog post was republished by al-Akhbar English on March 31, 2014.
This work was plagiarized by the London based newspaper al-Araby al-Jadeed and their reporter Thaer Ghandour. For more details, please follow this link.
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