After the end of the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel when Israel attempted to destroy Hezbollah but miscalculated Hezbollah’s tenacity to resist, Hezbollah was rearmed by Iran via Syria. While some of those rockets are now stockpiled in Syria, many are in storage bunkers in south Lebanon. These new rockets are far more advanced than the ones Hezbollah used during the 2006 war.
The Israeli war against Hezbollah ended in humiliation for Israel since its war aims of both destroying Hezbollah and occupying south Lebanon up to the Litani River were never realised. Israel’s defeat was accompanied by international criticism about the way it conducted its war against the Lebanese people and particularly the deaths of so many Lebanese civilians.
In the intervening period Hezbollah has rearmed and regrouped and has sided with Bashir al-Assad in his fight against Syrian rebels and international jihadists. Iran also supports al-Assad. The resulting set of circumstances amidst the ongoing civil war in Syria has provided Israel with new opportunities to realise its long held ambitions of finding an excuse to take on all of its enemies. By attacking targets in Syria by over-flying Lebanon on the pretext that they are destroying weapons that may be transferred to Hezbollah, the Israelis hope to provoke retaliation from Hezbollah and/or Syria and Iran that would provide the Israelis with a casus belli to once again attack Hezbollah and all their other enemies with the ultimate aim of dragging the US to take on Iran.
Israel has a long history of pre-emptively attacking its enemies and, since Hezbollah still has its arsenal intact inside Lebanon, it may well be only a matter of time before the Israelis decide to attack Hezbollah again on the pretext that the volatile situation in Syria is too much of a risk to Israel security if the conflict spills into Lebanon. The chutzpah here, of course, is that it was the attacks by Israel on Syria from Lebanese airspace that has escalated the crisis – which, in turn, is just what Israel wanted.
Israel is unlikely to make the same mistakes as it made in the 2006 war which was to grossly underestimate Hezbollah’s ability to resist an Israel attack. The world can expect to see an attack on Lebanon of such voracity that it could trigger other conflicts around the region. There will be no half measures from the Israelis as they attack in full force using everything they have. However, the one thing they don’t seem to have just yet is the full blessing of the US though it does seem as this may be only a matter of time. Clearly, the attacks against Damascus recently have had the full blessing of Obama so clearance to attack Hezbollah may not be too far away.
Once again the prospect of a full-on confrontation with Iran and all of Israel’s enemies looms on the horizon. The people of the world should take to the streets and demand an end to Israel’s folly and America’s subservience to Israel’s ambitions.