Hezbollah also transliterated Hizbullah, Hizballah, etc. is a Shi'a Islamist militant group and political party based in Lebanon. Hezbollah's paramilitary wing is the Jihad Council. After the death of Abbas al-Musawi in 1992, the organisation has been headed by Hassan Nasrallah, its Secretary-General. The United States, France, the Gulf Cooperation Council, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Netherlands, the European Union and Israel classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, in whole or in part.
Hezbollah was conceived by Muslim clerics and funded by Iran following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and was primarily formed to offer resistance to the Israeli occupation. Its leaders were followers of Ayatollah Khomeini, and its forces were trained and organized by a contingent of 1,500 Iranian Revolutionary Guards that arrived from Iran with permission from the Syrian government. After the 1982 invasion, Israel occupied a strip of south Lebanon, which was controlled by a militia supported by Israel, the South Lebanon Army. Hezbollah waged a guerilla campaign against them; with the collapse of the SLA, Israel withdrew on May 24, 2000.
Hezbollah has grown to an organization with seats in the Lebanese government, a radio and a satellite television-station, programs for social development and large-scale military deployment of fighters beyond Lebanon's borders. The organization has been called a "state within a state". Hezbollah is part of the March 8 Alliance within Lebanon, in opposition to the March 14 Alliance. Hezbollah maintains strong support among Lebanon's Shi'a population, while Sunnis have disagreed with the group's agenda. Following the end of the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon in 2000, its military strength grew significantly, such that its paramilitary wing is considered more powerful than the Lebanese Army. Hezbollah receives military training, weapons, and financial support from Iran, and political support from Syria. Hezbollah also fought against Israel in the 2006 Lebanon War.
After the 2006–2008 Lebanese political protests and clashes, a national unity government was formed in 2008, giving Hezbollah and its opposition allies control of eleven of thirty cabinets seats; effectively veto power. In August 2008, Lebanon's new Cabinet unanimously approved a draft policy statement which secures Hezbollah's existence as an armed organization and guarantees its right to "liberate or recover occupied lands". Since 2012, Hezbollah has helped the Syrian government during the Syrian civil war in its fight against the Syrian opposition, which Hezbollah has described as a Zionist plot and a "Wahhabi-Zionist conspiracy" to destroy its alliance with Assad against Israel. Once seen as a resistance movement throughout much of the Arab world, this image upon which the group's legitimacy rested has been severely damaged due to the sectarian nature of the Syrian Civil War in which it has become embroiled.