On March 18, Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, denied that the group had been fighting alongside Russian forces in Ukraine.
A number of Arab news outlets have been circulating reports claiming that Hezbollah dispatched fighters and advisors experienced with urban warfare to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian special military operation in the country. The source of these claims has been mainly the Ukrainian Military Staff.
Speaking at the 37th anniversary ceremenoney of the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mahdi Scouts, Nasrallah denied these news reports, calling them “lies” and “rumors”.
“I categorically deny such rumors. These are baseless lies and rumors. Hezbollah did not dispatch any fighter or expert to Ukraine,” the leader said.
Nasrallah went on to call on the Lebanese government to form an emergency committee to cope with the economic repercussions of the war in Ukraine. The economic crisis in Lebanon will likely worsen as a result of the war.
Hezbollah has been blaming the West, mainly the US, for the war in Ukraine. The group attacked a statement by the Lebanese Foreign Ministry condemning the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. During a speech on March 8, Nasrallah revealed that the statement was writing in the US embassy in Beirut.
The false claims of Hezbollah presence in Ukraine are likely meant to mount internal pressure on the group, as well as to provoke Israel.
Tel Aviv has refused to supply Ukraine with any weapons, so far. Furthermore, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has been mediating between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.