Despite the obfuscation practices by Hezbollah on this matter that is considered taboo due to its effect on morale and the reputation of the “Iron Warriors” of the party, it is recently reported that multiple members of Hezbollah who have returned from Syria, after having participated in combat against various militias for many years. The former combatants are undergoing psychological therapy in a number of clinics throughout Lebanon. These facilities are distributed between Beirut’s Sothern Suburb and the South Lebanon.
Sources revealed to Janoubia that there are 3 centers located in Tyr and along the southern borders. The operation of these centers is being carried out with great discretion, as they are being run from within infirmaries, medical lab centers, outpatient clinics, and physical therapy clinics.
The sources added that many of the militants, particularly those who have fought extremely harsh battles and witnessed many deaths within their regiments, are experiencing psychological crises.
Hezbollah continue to remain silent about the issue, as they consider it dishonorable and that it detracts from the myth of the Hezbollah fighter which they created and elevated. The death of these “Superhuman fighters” was sanctified and was considered destined! Thus, fulfilling the legend and perpetrating it further.
Syria and Vietnam
While the sacrifices of the Hezbollah fighters before the year 2000 against the Israeli army in the south remain revered by all sects—and Shiites in particular—as being done for a worthwhile cause, the sacrifices committed to the Syrian war only reaped financial, political, and human losses. It was a defeat on the popular level locally, regionally, and internationally for the leadership of the party.
The Syrian war has turned into a new Vietnam war in which “Hezbollah” was the victim, not the victor. They were thrown into Iran’s losing war; similar to the one that the American army fought in Vietnam where 57,000 soldiers were killed and nearly 157,000 soldiers were either wounded or captured.
On the other hand, during the last seven years, Hezbollah have lost over 1300 soldiers, which is an estimated figure between the declared deaths and the ones reported across social media.
A Former Fighter: War is no walk in the park!
A former Hezbollah fighter revealed to Janoubia that the fighters are human beings who fear war and death. Some may be more courageous than others, but that does not mean that war is a walk in the park; nor does it mean that none of them fear death.
He confirmed that he personally witnessed, during the brutal Syrian war in 2013-14, a number of young inexperienced fighters out in combat for the very first time saying: “Some would cry in fear of the sound of bullets, and others were driven to depression by the death and destruction they witnessed.”
“The sound of bullets, shells, cannons, and missiles around the clock in conjunction with “point-blank” range combat meant that the fighter must instantly either kill his opponent or be killed! The second remaining option is to sustain injury that might be fatal.” These terrifying sounds and frightening scenes afflict the fighter with severe psychological pressure, and many cannot withstand or endure it for long.
He notes that: “Those returning from Syria, in the wake of a fierce war, have turned from survivors into “ticking human time bombs” who feel an “excess of power” being a “military machine” ready for war 24/7. However, after they are dismissed and released from duty to return to their normal lives, back to work or unemployment, they begin to feel worthless having wasted their years in a futile war! With the number of these cases on the rise, treatment is being ramped up with confidentially to keep this condition under control and avoid societal implosion, which is when the myth of the “invincible” Hezbollah fighter will shatter completely.”