Hezbollah, Israel, Russia, Syria, Lebanon.
Original article: http://alrai.li/2ssnk4f
Translation here http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/03/is-israeli-hezbollah-war-imminent.html
Damascus by Elijah J. Magnier
Tel Aviv seeks to push forces into Syria to shut its borders with Lebanon…but will Moscow allow it?
Tensions are rising as Tel Aviv claims that the Israeli army is preparing for war against Hezbollah, and that Israel seeks this, as a hostile environment stokes around Hezbollah with their Arab neighbours. But will a war ignite soon?
A senior officer involved in the Syrian war operation room said: “Israel is preparing for a war against Hezbollah as if it’s gonna happen tomorrow. This is a standard military procedure for any state that feels threatened by an opponent state or an armed militia, considered a threat to its national security”.
“Israel conducts frequent military drills, unilaterally and with other allies. These drills simulate various war scenarios to maintain the readiness of its forces and to repel any sort of threat. Moreover, as intelligence reports have indicated that Hezbollah have acquired new tactical weapons, Israel conducts its drills accordingly. As far as the media has reported on “avoiding giving Israel an excuse to wage war against Hezbollah”, generally speaking, Tel Aviv no longer decide matters of war due to a provocation or a tactical excuse – as in the 2006 war – rather it relies on its ability to reach a specific goal. It also takes into consideration the military losses, and the internal and international ramifications that must be considered after the end of the war”, the source said.
He explains that, “ Israel on numerous occasions expressed its concern about the continuous increase of Hezbollah’s capabilities and acquisition of advanced weaponry. According to Israel, the only viable option is to strike Hezbollah now before its growth of capabilities. Time is crucial for Tel Aviv that views the Syrian defenses as having been nullified and that the Damascus outskirts is a soft target. Moreover, Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army opposition group will not be much of a hindrance against their advancing forces, mainly if the aim is to break the back of Hezbollah in Syria. So, with this in mind, it is possible to cut the Lebanese-Syrian border and to extend Israeli control by 70-80 kilometers reaching the city of Al-Qusayr”.
“ Israel has added the “Magic wand” defense military system designed to further bolster the “Iron Dome”, “Arrow” and “Patriot” to counter Hezbollah’s missiles. The Israeli politicians are further poised to attack Hezbollah after being labeled as a terrorist organization by Arab countries, giving a clear message to Hezbollah that whatever destruction incurred upon southern Lebanon after such a war with Israel will not be rebuilt with Arab finances. Both sides know that the upcoming war will be more devastating than the 2006 war. Israel will have the moral support of regional countries, especially after the much-awaited Arab summit, which makes the timing of the start of the war convenient. A point worth noting is that Israel usually starts a war against Lebanon after the end of winter and at the start of the summer. The aim of such a war could be to set a reasonable objective to destroy Hezbollah’s ability to launch attacks on Israel and not to annihilate Hezbollah. This is a flexible aim that can be achieved by destroying the Al-Fateh 110 and M-600 long range missiles. It might also be an opportunity to bait Hezbollah to show off some of their reconnaissance ability and other advanced missile systems by forced reconnaissance. Israel would be than able to market its war under the objective of “Eradicating missile capabilities that threaten Israeli internal security”.
The source asks questions that Israel doesn’t have the answer to:
- Will Russia allow Israel to venture into their Syrian playground to encircle and strike a force that is working on the ground to destroy Al-Qaeda and ISIS with Russia’s aerial support?
- Will Israel be able to sustain damages incurred upon vital institutions, such as military and civilian airports and other sensitive locations that Hezbollah’s long-range missiles can strike?
- Does Israel really want to confront the new version of Hezbollah with its combined classical-guerrilla warfare style and its enhanced firepower capabilities?
- We have seen from Syria that Hezbollah forces’ ability to maneuver across the frontline and deep in enemy territory. These forces maneuvers under aerial missile protection, a capability that could already have been passed into Hezbollah’s hands. It would be a stumbling block the Israelis tneed to think about. It would also put major constraints on Israel’s most important weapon which is its ability to freely bomb with no worries about anti aircraft missiles. This is a new and serious challenge that Tel Aviv needs to consider thoughtfully in any upcoming war scenario.
- We have seen Hezbollah operating within an area of 50,000 square kilometers in Syria. We have seen their tactics, offensives, and quick transitions, injecting new forces every time there are major personnel losses, and replacing forces with ones that quickly adapt to the geography and start their operations on a wide range of fronts. Whereas Israel is 21,000 square kilometers and Lebanon is 10,000 square kilometers. Do leaders in Tel Aviv take this into consideration?
- Israel has a strong army, composed mainly of reserves, though the barracks of these reserves are well known. So, would Israel start its war with shelling and aerial bombardment, with the possibility of those gathering points being hit with precision missiles that can strike targets within 250-300 kilometers into Israeli mainland in the first days of the war?
The source goes on, “ In 2006 Damascus opened its arms stores to Hezbollah. In 2016, 2017 or any other future year, the Syrian regime will not stand idly by because it no longer have anything to lose. It is impossible to avoid the war if an ally, who has lost thousands to death and injury, is being attacked. The radius of the war would expand beyond a simple war against Hezbollah only. But above all, this goes against Russia’s interests, which seeks to end the war and defeat Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Therefore, striking Hezbollah is not the same as striking Hamas. This war has many ramifications that no one wants to face at this moment. Israel must live with Hezbollah just as the two Korea’s live with each other”
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