The Syrian rebels regard the Shi’a gunmen as simply another element in the force available to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Fahd al-Masri, a spokesman for the FSA, noted that rebel forces have observed the movement of large amounts of arms and ammunition across the border from Lebanon to Syria. The rocket fire from Hezbollah positions in Lebanon renders Nasrallah’s assertions entirely hollow.

Rather, a growing body of evidence suggests that the events on the border are only a part of a much more significant Hezbollah presence among the pro-government forces in Syria.

This includes, according to credible reports, an involvement by the movement in training efforts to turn the Shabiha militia into a more formidable force.

The Alawi Shabiha irregulars are suspected of many of the most heinous acts of sectarian bloodletting which have marked the Assad regime’s attempt to destroy its opponents…

This gamble will end either with the eventual resurgence of the Assad regime – and with it, a strategic triumph for the Iranian interest in the Levant – or with the Syrian dictator’s destruction. The latter outcome may then bring down a fierce Sunni reckoning on both Hezbollah and the constituency it controls in Lebanon.