On Saturday, the Hezbollah presence in Deir Ezzor city was “officially” confirmed for the first time when a Hezbollah commander in Deir Ezzor city Haj, Abu Mustafa, was interviewed by the Lebanese al-Mayadeen news TV channel inside Deir Ezzor Airport.
Abu Mustafa said that his appearance was a result of direct orders from Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah.
The Hezbollah commander thanked the Syrian leadership and the leadership of Hezbollah for their unlimited support to Deir Ezzor city. Abu Mustafa also said that Iran and Russia played a major role in supporting the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) resistance against ISIS .
Furthermore, Abu Mustafa said that the key element for the victory in Deir Ezzor city was a cooperation between civilians and the SAA.
Pro-government sources have repeatedly claimed that special operation units of Hezbollah were deployed by aircraft to Deir Ezzor city in 2014 in order to assist the SAA in defending the city from ISIS. This information became officially confirmed only 3 years later.
The interview of the Hezbollah commander in interview was an important political and media move made by Hezbollah.
According to local sources, Hezbollah wanted to prove its presence on the front lines against ISIS near the Iraqi border after some Iraqi politicians and activists had accused Hezbollah of betraying Iraq when the group allowed ISIS to withdraw from Western Qalamoun towards the Iraqi border.
The interview also sent a message to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition which launched an attack towards Deir Ezzor earlier on Saturday. Some pro-government forces even speculated that the goal of the SDF operation is to block the SAA and its allies including Hezbollah from reaching the Iraqi border.