“It’s not as if we can say we have two weeks go prepare [for war],” Eshel said. “I am not sure we have two weeks to prepare.”
In an address on May 22 to the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, Eshel said the next war with Hizbullah in Lebanon would exhaust the air force’s capabilities. He warned that the next war would include missile strikes on Israel’s cities, which would require a strategy to end fighting quickly.
“We have to be prepared to fight on three fronts simultaneously,” Eshel said. “We have to know to leap from one front to another.”
Tag Archives: Lebanon
Sources here say the two airstrikes in three days on Syria have gotten the expected response from Tehran, and the Islamic Republic and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, have pledged full support of Syria, suggesting they would launch their own attacks in response.
While sources say that the immediate airstrikes were aimed at weapons transfers from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon, the intent actually is aimed at provoking a response from Tehran that will provide a basis for an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities.
Nasrallah claims resistance groups set to open front against Israel on Golan Heights
Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said on Thursday that Syria will supply his Lebanese militia with “game-changing weapons,” describing the move as Syria’s response to airstrikes earlier in the week.
Nasrallah spoke less than a week after unnamed Israeli officials said Israeli aircraft twice struck shipments of advanced weapons in Syria believed to be bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel did not officially confirm responsibility for the early Friday and Sunday strikes around Damascus.
A top general in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps on Sunday warned Israel that any military action against Lebanon and the Hezbollah terror group would result in Israel’s destruction.
In an address in the southwestern Iranian city of Shahrekord, Brigadier General Mohammad Hossein Sepehr claimed that Iran now extends all the way to the Mediterranean coast, presumably an allusion to Tehran’s influence in Lebanon and Syria via its proxy Hezbollah.
“Hezbollah can’t imagine a role for the Shia aside from being the ‘resistance’ of Lebanon,” Koteich said, “but it’s over. There’s nothing left to resist. They’re like communist parties in the former Soviet Union. They have their prisons, they have their bread, they have their hospitals, and that’s it.”
So if Assad falls in Syria, how will it affect Hezbollah?
“It will be huge,” Koteich said. “For decades they’ve had this powerful state behind them, along with a corridor for weapons coming out of Iran. They’ve had this enormous machine and all its tools at their back, and it will be a tremendous blow when they lose it.”
The mood in the Shia community now is a mixture of fear and righteousness. Hezbollah is better than anyone in Lebanon at ginning up paranoia and fear, partly because Hezbollah itself is by far the most paranoid party in Lebanon. “They’re saying the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood are going to take over. Extremists Sunnis in Lebanon are like two or three percent, but the Shia here are afraid. They’re afraid that when Assad falls, the Nusra front will take over Syria.”
In a turbulent and rapidly-changing region, Hezbollah finds itself facing an unprecedented array of threats and challenges. Will it be fatally weakened if its strategic ally, the Syrian regime, collapses?
Will it get drawn into, or trigger, a devastating war with Israel if Iran, another strategic ally, is attacked over its nuclear ambitions – and even if not?
Will it find itself embroiled in a confessional civil war with the Sunnis in Lebanon, especially if Syria breaks apart and the region is plunged into a process of sectarian balkanisation?
[Concerning an Israel-Hezbollah conflict.]
While some observers believe that a “critical mass” of preparation on both sides may mean that conflict is ultimately inevitable, there is certainly no sense at the moment that either is spoiling for a fight.
Senior Israeli officials have indicated that the Jewish state is gearing up for a major “war with Lebanon,” according to sources close to the Israeli government.
The Israeli military has reportedly deployed missile defense systems to the northern part of the country, which sits near Lebanon, and has ordered all civilian aircraft to evacuate Haifa airport, the Jewish state’s northernmost air hub.
Senior Israeli officials have warned of an impending conflict in closed-door meetings in Washington, D.C., sources said.
A senior member of Iran’s parliament on Saturday vowed that no amount of offensive or defensive capabilities will save Israel from destruction at the hands of its Muslim neighbors.
The lawmaker stated that the Muslim nations of the Middle East remain resolved to destroy the Jewish state, and will eventually succeed.
In service to that ultimate goal, Iran is looking to ensure Syria remains a base for hostility, if not open warfare, against Israel. There is some fear that the regime of dictator Bashar Assad could lose its civil war with Sunni Muslim rebel forces, and so Iran and its Shiite Hezbollah allies in Lebanon are reportedly busy establishing a network of militias in Syria.
The more likely danger from any Israeli escalation, as Badran points out, is that Hezbollah could once again drag Lebanon into another war. Here it’s worth noting that when Golan gave his interview, he said there was no sign of movement of hardware—specifically, “long-range missiles and advanced rockets, unmanned aerial drones, surface-to-air missiles, sophisticated underwater projectiles, and, above all else, the world’s largest stockpile of chemical weapons”—into the hands of Hezbollah, though he warned that the group had “all the reasons in the world to procure advanced weapons at bargain prices.” If a weapons convoy bound for Lebanon was indeed the target of last week’s strike, the odds of further conflict in that country could well be increasing.
Israel is keeping a close eye on Syria and will act if it sees any indication that weapons are being transferred to Hezbollah, military experts said in an interview published Saturday.
A reported Israeli attack on a Syrian weapons convoy could be only the first volley in a series of upcoming strikes against Damascus and Hezbollah should the embattled regime try to transfer weapons to the Lebanese terror group, former Military Intelligence head Amos Yadlin told the Washington Post.
“Any time Israel will have reliable intelligence that this is going to be transferred from Syria to Lebanon, it will act,” the paper reported Yadlin saying.