As the Qalamoun battle looms on the horizon, with sources pointing to the Party of God beefing up its presence in the region, NOW again meets Abou Ali, a Hezbollah fighter who participated in the Qusayr battle and was recently deployed in the Damascus region.

NOW: Last time we met you described your fight in Syria as a religious duty. Do you still see the ongoing killing across the border in this way?

Abou Ali: The war in Syria is a conspiracy against Hezbollah. They [the international community] tried to destroy the party several times in the past, in 1996 and many times later on.  By waging war on Syria, they are targeting Hezbollah. No one can opt not to fight there: we need to protect our dignity and our religious beliefs. In Syria, we are confronted with the same enemies we fight when we are engaged in a war with Israel. I do not think we need a takleef sharii (religious command) to fight in Syria anymore. If someone comes to your house to kill you, don’t you have the right to defend yourself?

NOW: In a previous interview with NOW, you reported fighting jihadists in Qusayr. Can you confirm recent intelligence reports pointing to a change in the profile of some of the Western jihadists fighting in Syria?


[Full Interview]