"Syria is deploying large numbers of Hezbollah and Iranian snipers as 'military consultants' to murder anti-regime protesters, a senior government defector has told The Times... [Mahmoud Haj Hamad, the top auditor at the Defence Ministry said,] 'At the beginning there were hundreds, then when things started to get worse, they started to bring in more outsiders. The numbers were huge - in the thousands'. The foreign recruits are prized by the regime for their street-fighting abilities, having crushed dissent in Iran and Lebanon." ('Foreign snipers' in Syria, Nate Wright & James Hider, The Times/The Australian, 27/1/12)
But hang on a minnie! Let's think this one through. Back in 2009, at the height of the anti-government protests in Tehran, not only Hezbollah, but Hamas as well, were allegedly helping the Iranian regime to put them down. What's more, your Hezbollahs were alleged to have been riding motorcycles whilst doing so - presumably because the Iranians haven't quite mastered that species of tres sophisticated technology yet. (See my 23/6/09 post Hezbikies Ho!)
So what I want to know is, if Iran's Revolutionary Guards were so bloody incompetent in 2009 that they needed Lebanese and Palestinian ring-ins to do their dirty work for them, why would the Syrian regime today be importing the same incompetent Iranians to do its dirty work?
But that's not all. If Lebanon's Hezbollahs could cycle all the way to Iran in 2009, despite the absence of a common border, how come they're bikeless in Syria (which borders Lebanon) today?
And - need I ask? - where the hell's Hamas this time around?
Finally, Hezbollah is supposed to have cut its teeth crushing dissent in Lebanon? After Messrs Wright and Hider have revealed exactly what "dissent" it is that Hezbollah is supposed to have "crushed," perhaps they could tell us if that was that with or without Iranian and/or Syrian assistance?
Oh, and here's one for our intrepid journalists: Are you guys sure 'Mahmoud Haj Hamad' is really from Syria? He wouldn't by any chance be an Iraqi with a vivid imagination who answers to the name Curveball*, would he?
[*See my 17/2/11 post Words Fail Me.]