Jihad is a central element of the sectarian narrative circulating today in Syria. Yet jihad is also at the crux of the discourse held by Lebanese Hizbollah and a major driver for its militants fighting across the border. In Syria, jihad appears to have become above all the prerogative of radical Sunni groups such as ISIL and Hayaat Tahreer Sham (also known as the former Nusra affiliate to Al Qaeda).
French-Lebanese journalist and researcher who writes about political and economic issues in the Arab world, is a non-resident fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council.
A decade after the bloody 2006 war with Israel, Hizbollah may be deadlier than ever. Yet the organisation has lost popularity across the Middle East and its involvement in the Syria quagmire has narrowed its margin of manoeuvre in Lebanon. "Hizbollah is stronger, its regional mission has expanded and it has become indispensable to Iran, yet any major failure will trigger a stronger backlash at the local level," says Hizbollah expert Hazem Amine.