An article published by Foreign Policy last week claims that Hezbollah is allegedly preparing to wage a massive war against Israel in the near future. Citing sources “close to the party,” the article states that this would be Hezbollah’s “biggest war ever” and would follow an aggressive offensive strategy similar to its military activities in Syria.

Since its involvement in the Syrian war on behalf of President Bashar Al-Assad, Hezbollah has “gained a level of tactical experience and weaponry that has made it a far more threatening force for its enemies elsewhere in the region,” according to the Foreign Policy article. It now has sophisticated weaponry—unlike the unguided missiles it depended on during the 2006 Lebanon War—as well as on-the-ground experience with infiltration.

Surprisingly, virtually no Arab media outlets have published similar analyses on Hezbollah’s growing military prowess. This may be indicative of Hezbollah’s descent in the eyes of many in the region, who feel the group no longer carries the same legitimacy it did a decade ago.

Whereas many in the Middle East hailed Hezbollah’s victory against Israel in 2006, today many of these same individual’s believe the group has abandoned its principles and is, instead, fulfilling the sectarian objectives of an authoritarian regime. For example, while the liberation of Palestine has been one of Hezbollah’s purported long-term goals, in propping up the Assad regime, the group has passively contributed to the deaths of countless Palestinians in Syria’s Yarmouk Camp.

As the Foreign Policy article indicates, whether Hezbollah will actually wage war against Israel is “getting more difficult to predict by the day.” But, so long as Hezbollah sides with the Assad government and continues to contribute to the oppression of Palestinians and Syrians, the group’s regional popularity will likely remain low, and its successes will remain ignored by Arab media outlets.

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