Will Hezbollah’s Rise Be Its Downfall?

The Group Is Stronger Than Ever—Israel Could Drag It Back Down

Hezbollah fighters in Western Qalamoun, Syria, August 2017  Omar Sanadiki/REUTERS

It’s not often that Hezbollah finds common ground with U.S. leaders. But in February, Hassan Nasrallah, the Lebanese party and paramilitary group’s top official, made an exception. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had warned that Hezbollah was growing “more powerful.” Nasrallah agreed, and for good reason. Fresh off victories on the battlefield in Syria, with a vast weapons arsenal in Lebanon, a political ally in power, and committed allies across the region, Hezbollah has more military and political power today than at any point since its founding in 1985.

Yet this new strength has brought with it new troubles. Hezbollah’s unchecked expansion in the Levant has not only brightened the U.S. spotlight on the group’s activities but set off alarm bells in Israel. Major Israeli military strikes inside Lebanon—a first since Israel went to war against Hezbollah in 2006—are now a distinct

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