Why is Hizbullah training the Mahdi Army?

The system of relations between Hizbullah and the Mahdi Army is a manifestation of the strategic cooperation taking place between the different military organizations operating against Israel's existence and Western interests in the area.

A senior American intelligence official stated this week that Hezbollah has been training members of the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia led by Moktada al-Sadr, which operates against the American presence and the Sunni minority in Iraq. According to the report, Iran and Syria helped build the relationship between Hezbollah and the Mahdi Army.

The system of relations between Hizbullah and the Mahdi Army is a manifestation of the strategic cooperation taking place between the different military organizations operating in the area under the encouragement of various different states. Another example of this phenomenon is the cooperation that took place during the Second Lebanon War between Hizbullah and the 'Islamic Alliance for Control of Somalia' (see below).

This strategic cooperation is one of the central components of the Resistance Network, which strives not only against Israel's existence but also against Western interests in the area. The global aim of the Resistance Network seems to serve as a unifying cause for the Shiite Hizbullah, the Shiite Mahdi Army and the Sunni Islamist Alliance of Somalia. Therefore, the conflict led by the Resistance Network should not to be seen as directed only against Israel, but as a global and systemic conflict.

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Somalies Fought Alongside Hizbullah against Israel (11/16/06)

A UN report handed into the UN Security Council revealed that 720 Islamic militants from Somalia arrived at Lebanon in July and fought alongside Hizbullah against Israel. In return, Hizbullah, backed by Syria and Iran, provided the "Islamic Alliance for Control of Somalia" with training and weapons in order for them to take control in Somalia.

The manifestation of the Resistance Network's pattern in Somalia and in Lebnon is very similar. In both countries the militant Islamist-guerilla groups attempt to impose their authority upon the local political system, while enjoying a low capacity of governance by the central government.

The Reut Institute contends that the recent war in Lebanon cannot be seen as a regional conflict, but as a global confrontation of the Resistance Network against Israel and the West. This goal of the Resistance Network seems to serve as a unifying cause for the Sunni Islamist Alliance of Somalia and the Shiite Hizbullah.

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