MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) — The Lebanese-based Shiite movement Hezbollah is recruiting young fighters belonging to non-Shiite sects, including Christians to fight the Islamic State (IS) militant group, the An Nahar newspaper reported on Wednesday.
According to the newspaper, Iran is directly overseeing the training and is paying a salary ranging between $1,500 and $2,500. The report elaborated that Hezbollah is not yet sending the fighters to the neighboring war-torn Syria, but is keeping the brigades in Lebanon to confront any extremist groups that may spring up there.
An Nahar also reported that Hezbollah has strong ties with Christian communities in the north and the west of the Bekaa valley, and is providing Christian fighters with arms in order to protect them from the IS threat.
The Islamic State is a Sunni extremist group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.
Hundreds of people have been killed by the IS, thousands have been forced to flee their homes amid fears of the group, which mainly targets ethnic and religious minorities.