Will Hezbollah be able to fight in Iraq ? [Opinion]

It is today a clear fact that Hezbollah fighters took part in Syria Qusayr, Qalamoun mountains, Sayeda Zainab shrine and even as far as Aleppo. The objectives is clear. According to them, it is the defend Lebanon, avoid the fall of the Assad regime, and defend the religious shrines of Syria that are highly important to Shiites.

But what about the religious shrines today in Iraq ? Najaf and Karbala are the town where Imam Ali and Imam Hussein, highly respected and revered by the Shiites, are respectively buried.

The towns are still today relatively far from the fronts of the Islamic state, although today under indirect threat, with Anbar about to fall. The Question is how the Islamic state will continue the war, whether it will attack Baghdad first or Karbala province, only time will say.

Hezbollah is today undoubtedly sending senior commander in Iraq. In August, a commander was killed near Mosul and Hezbollah acknowledged it. It is still unclear if the Party of God is sending fighters to Iraq.

Back in June, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s general secretary, said they would defend Shia shrines in Iraq.

Walid Sukaria, a Lebanese member of parliament for the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, which is affiliated with Hezbollah said in Al monitor :

“What would Hezbollah do in Iraq? Terrorism [there] does not border Lebanon and the holy sites in Iraq do not need 100 or 200 militants of Hezbollah to protect them. Iraq has a people that can protect its holy sites and has hundreds of thousands of militants to fight terrorism and protect holy sites,”

Iraq south is mostly Shi’ites, and militants are already organizing themselves to defend Baghdad and the south. Baghdad won’t fall as easily as Mosul did, and “IS” has to reinforce and maintain the large territory of Iraq it had conquered. The fight for the south is not near.
If IS arrived at the door of Karbala and Najaf, Hezbollah fighters will go and fight for two reasons.
1) The first reason is quite obvious, even when Iraqi Shi’ite will be more than enough to defend Karbala and Najaf, Hezbollah (and Iran) would send experienced fighters and commanders to help in tactics and strategy.
2) Karbala and Najaf are highly important to Shi’ites. Martyrdom there is wanted for obvious religious reasons, just like for Sayeda Zainab shrine.
Hezbollah is showing today that it is able to fight in more than two fronts. It’s the message that they sent with their last operation against Israelis in Chebaa farms.
After the ousting of Israelis from Lebanon in 2000, its arsenal and numbers grew, and the 2006 resistance in the July/August War made it very clear that it is the biggest threat to Israel.
In 1991 Saddam Hussein violently repressed the Shi’ites uprising. Republican Guards directly attacked Karbala and killed dozens in the holy shrine of Imam al Hussein. There were not any reports of Hezbollah fighters there.
They may be able to fight in Iraq/Syria/Lebanon and conduct operations against Israel, the question is, will be able to defend Karbala and Najaf during a violent war against Israel and “IS”/Jabhat al Nusra in Lebanon. ?
One thing is sure, 2010’s Hezbollah is very far from the Hezbollah of the 80’s and 90’s.

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