The Lebanese Hezbollah Party has opened an official branch on Eighth of March Street, one of Lattakia’s most prestigious stretches, in an attempt to recruit dozens of pro-regime Alawite officers and soldiers.
Sources close to Suqur as-Sahraa (Hawks of the Desert Brigade), led by Ayman Jaber, a relative of Assad, confirmed in a statement to al-Souria Net: "Hezbollah is currently working on the rehabilitation of cadres from Syria, particularly from the Alawite and Shiite community".
The source said, "any Alawite officer can join Hezbollah. He will not be linked to the army or any other militia, and the party will take care of all the expenses and procedures that facilitate the joining process".
Many pro-regime Shiite militias have recently emerged along the Syrian coastal region, with many closely linked to "al-Baath Battalions". The militias lacked an office or major public presence, unlike Hezbollah, which successfully opened an office in the most prestigious neighborhood of Lattakia.
The new Hezbollah headquarters is located in front of the police headquarters, where several of the surrounding buildings belong to the Assad family, including the Union of Engineers and the offices of Kamal and Fawaz Assad. Several banks also occupy the same street, namely the Central Bank of Syria, Bemo Saudi-French Bank, Awde Bank and the Commercial Bank of Syria.
Speaking to al-Souria Net, Abu Adel, a resident from Lattakia, said: "Hezbollah wishes to deliver a message to Christians through its presence in the neighborhood: that it would defend them in the future when the regime collapses".
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer