Fighters from the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah have helped Bashar al-Assad’s regime to stay in power and roll back some of the earlier battlefield gains made by the Syrian armed opposition.
Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian conflict, however, has had a spin-off benefit for the Iranian-backed organization: turning a new generation of young recruits into battle-hardened veterans. This experience should make them a more capable combat force in the event of another war against Hezbollah’s arch enemy – Israel.
Amid the grinding brutality of Syria’s war, analysts say Hezbollah combatants have learned valuable lessons in mounting offensive and defensive operations in urban and rural environments. They have learned how to coordinate with other forces, such as the Syrian army and loyalist paramilitaries; how to build supply lines to sustain long periods of fighting; and simply experience the rigors and chaos of combat. […]