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Forty Years On, Hezbollah Is Isolated But More Powerful Than Ever

CNN

Forty Years On, Hezbollah Is Isolated But More Powerful Than Ever

By Adam Pourahmadi, CNN

London (CNN) - Hezbollah capped off the 40th anniversary of its founding on Monday with large-scale celebrations on a stage in southern Beirut that featured holograms of fighters killed in battle, and videos showing off the group's historic confrontation with Israel. An interpretive dance, depicting how the group freed prisoners from ISIS in Syria, was a notable addition.

Over the years, the Lebanese Shiite group has tried to rebrand itself from a paramilitary organization backed by Iran to a serious political and regional player. Forty years on, Hezbollah is militarily more powerful than ever, but also more globally isolated than it has ever been.

Many countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Germany as well as Gulf Arab states and the Arab League, have labeled the entire group a terrorist organization, while the European Union and France consider only Hezbollah's military wing as such. Hassan Nasrallah, the group's leader, is considered a specially designated global terrorist by the United States and subject to American sanctions as a result.

The movement first emerged in 1982 as a response to Israel's invasion of Beirut during Lebanon's bloody civil war. The Israelis met their objective of expelling Palestinian fighters from the country, but catalyzed a more formidable enemy in Hezbollah as a result. Iran's new regime found the group to be an apt ally, both because of their shared Shiite ideology and because of Hezbollah's position in the heart of the Arab world. It began providing the group with funding and training soon after it emerged.

Full story https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/26/middleeast/lebanon-hezbollah-40-years-mime/index.html

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