USA hevdet fredag at shia-militsen Hizbollah aktivt assisterer Assad-regimet med logistikk, trening og rådgivning. Det er i seg selv en eskalering som truer med å trekke Libanon inn i krigen.

The Obama administration charged Friday that Lebanon-based Hezbollah is directly assisting Syria’s brutal domestic military crackdown and announced new sanctions against the group and the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The announcements were timed to precede Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s meetings on Saturday with Syrian opposition leaders in Turkey. Clinton also plans to pledge an additional $5.5 million in U.S. humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees.

Andre kilder, bla. Guardian, har skrevet at iranske soldater deltar i krigen mot opprørerne, og at iranerne hates av syrerne.

Ifølge Obama-administrasjonen deltar ikke Hizbollah aktivt, men talsmannen er noe vag på dette punkt. Man sier hva man er sikre på, men antyder at det kan være noe mer.

Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen said the new action, focused on activities specifically related to Syria, was “not solely focused on the immediate financial impact” but was designed “to expose” Hezbollah activity in that country.

“As the wave of revolt has spread across the Middle East,” Cohen said, “Hezbollah leadership has publicly supported some protests where it suited their needs, and in other cases, such as in Syria, it has actively supported the violent crackdown being carried out by the Syrian dictatorship.”

Cohen and Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s counterterrorism coordinator, declined to provide specifics about long-rumored Hezbollah participation in Assad’s military operation but said it included “extensive” logistical and operational support, as well as training and advice.

“This is not a matter of idle speculation or press reports,” Benjamin said.

“We’re obviously very sensitive here to issues of sources and methods,” he said, but added, “It’s safe to say that Hezbollah is playing a critical role in advising the Syrian government and its personnel in how to prosecute a counterinsurgency.”

Benjamin said that information had been compiled in an “authoritative document” distributed to other governments in hopes that they will take similar action against Hezbollah.

The Treasury Department first designated Hezbollah a “Global Terrorist” group in 1995, prohibiting U.S. financial transactions with it and freezing its assets.

Aktiv deltakelse på Assads side er et prestisjenederlag for Iran som hele tiden har hevdet at den arabiske vår er identisk med Khomeinis revolusjon i 1979. De arabiske masser følger Irans eksempel.

Når står Iran på undertrykkerens side. Det kan bli vanskelig å bortforklare.

Hillary Clinton skal møte syrere som nettopp har flyktet i Istanbul lørdag. Opposisjonen er skuffet over USA.

Amid fears that extremists are gaining strength within rebel ranks, some administration officials have argued internally that increased U.S. involvement would improve the likelihood of a democratic outcome and provide greater U.S. influence with the government that eventually replaces Assad. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said the United States should work with allies who are already supplying weapons to the rebels.

Obama has not ruled out any options in Syria, but White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan said this week that opposition forces there are already “awash in weaponry.” There is little indication that a war-weary American public favors intervention in Syria.

U.S. says Hezbollah is helping Syrian regime