The #Hezbollah or “The Party of God” is a Shiite Muslim militant group and political party based in #Lebanon with an extensive security apparatus, social services networks, and political organization giving rise to its reputation of a “state within a state”. Backed by Iran, the group emerged during the fifteen-year civil war that ravaged Lebanon, driven by its opposition to the state of Israel and Western influence in the Middle East. The US and other Western countries have designated Hezbollah – or parts of it – as a global terrorist organization given its participation in several high-profile terror attacks around the world. In recent years, the organization has been deeply involved in the war in Syria making it one of the most effective non-state military outfits.
Hezbollah positions itself as a Shiite resistance movement, enshrining its ideology in a 1965 manifesto that vowed to expel Western powers from Lebanon, called for the destruction if the state of Israel, and pledged undying allegiance to Iran’s supreme leader. The manifesto also espouses an Iran-backed Shiite regime but believes in the right of the Lebanese people to self-determination. The organization is currently led by Hassan Nasrallah who took over following the assassination of its founder, Abbas Al-Musawi by Israel. The Nasrallah-led Hezbollah controls much of Lebanon’s Shiite majority areas including parts of Beirut, southern Lebanon, and the eastern Bekaa Valley region. The outfit has time and again reiterated its commitment to carrying on a low-intensity warfare against American and Jewish interests in the region, Africa, the Americas, and Asia.
Deeply entrenched in Lebanese politics since 1992, Hezbollah – the political party – has held cabinet positions since 2005. In the most recently concluded national elections in 2018, Hezbollah won 13 seats in the 128-member Lebanese parliament on the political slogan of “true democracy”.