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Hezbollah Tightens Its Grip on Sinking Lebanon

The Iranian-backed group is handing out discounted food to supporters.

relates to Hezbollah Tightens Its Grip on Sinking Lebanon

Photographer: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

The most basic foods have become political assets in economically devastated Lebanon. And no one’s tapped that currency of oil, milk and bread like Iran-backed Hezbollah.

Designated a terrorist group by the U.S., it has galvanized its power by taking on more functions of a state hollowed out by an imploding economy and sectarian feuding. By offering food, cash and medical services amid widespread poverty in this once-middle class nation, the Shiite Muslim group has become a lifeline for many.