Vice News quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Bilal Y. Saab on how Hezbollah is reacting to and affected by the protests in Lebanon:
Bilal Saab, senior fellow for Middle East security at the Atlantic Council, a DC-based think tank, says that Hezbollah is extremely sensitive to any loss in popularity, and the protests are a likely sore spot for the group. “Any type of Shi’ite political activism makes Hezbollah nervous,” he writes in an email. “Anything that might shake their support base is a source of anxiety for Hassan Nasrallah. Protecting the core at a time when overall Shi’ite support is damaged due to Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian conflict is a must. The demonstrations are potentially an annoying distraction for the group.”
Meanwhile, tensions mount on the borders. There are media reports that Hezbollah has increased its alert level regarding a conflict with Israel in the south. When asked if he thinks Hezbollah weakening will prove detrimental to its ability to fight foes like Israel and the Islamic State, Saab, the Middle East fellow, says that’s unlikely.