Alarmed at the sweeping advances in Iraq by Sunni militants, Lebanon’s Shiite Hizbollah movement is dispatching reinforcements to areas in Syria it helped wrest away from rebels fighting the regime of president Bashar Al Assad.

The build-up comes as Iraqi-Shiite militiamen battling alongside Hizbollah and Assad regime troops are leaving the area, near Lebanon’s north-eastern border, and returning to Iraq to fight an insurgency led by the Islamic State, said Hizbollah military commanders and fighters from the group.

Speaking to The National, the militants, who have served multiple tours in Syria, said the civil war there and Hizbollah’s involvement in it would be prolonged because of the Islamic State offensive. […]