Due to the mounting death toll, families from the Baalbeck region in Lebanon asked Hezbollah leader Mohammed Yazbek to stop sending their children to fight on Syrian soil, the London-based newspaper reported Sunday.
The parents said while they had been proud to send their sons to fight against Israel in the Second Lebanon War in 2006, dispatching them to defend Syria, "cannot be tolerated."
The source noted that Hezbollah has been unable to withdraw its forces from Syria because of its support for the regime and the Lebanese force has become an integral part of President Bashar Assad's defense. Because of its actions it is facing growing criticism from within Lebanon and the Arab world, the paper noted.
Asharq al-Awsat said 20 battalions of Hezbollah fighters are operating in Syria under the leadership of Brig. Gen. Hussein Hijazi.
Hezbollah leaders have been meeting to discuss the situation and some officials went to Iran to try to explain the organization is unable to support the Syrian regime alone with fighters from Lebanon, the paper said. Iran has sent weapons to assist the Syrian regime, including missiles and mortar shells, the report said. Between April 27 and May 1 this year, Iran dispatched 11 shipments of weapons by air and road to Syria.