Hezbollah Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah announced on July 12 that the Lebanese group had reduced its troops in Syria, citing the improvement of the situation there as a reason.
“The Syrian state is recovering and reimplementing its authority, there is no turning back in Syria … We are still in all the areas, where we were before, but we had reduced our forces in accordance with the requirements of the current situation,” Nasrallah said during an interview on the al-Manar TV.
The Lebanese leader noted that Hezbollah can redeploy large forces in Syria “when it’s needed.” He also stressed that “tactical and security” reasons were behind the decision to reduce forces in Syria, denying any role related to the harsh U.S. sanctions on his group.
As to the Russian presence in Syria, Nasrallah said that Hezbollah sees Russian forces as a friend. However, he noted that Hezbollah coordinates with Syria’s Ministry of Defense only.
Last month, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that Hezbollah is secretly withdrawing many of its units from Syria. Nasrallah’s new statements confirm these claims.
Hezbollah’s partial withdrawal from Syria will not likely affect the situation in the country. The Lebanese group halted its participation in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) offensive operation around two years ago.