An attempt is made to share the truth regarding issues concerning Israel and her right to exist as a Jewish nation. This blog has expanded to present information about radical Islam and its potential impact upon Israel and the West. Yes, I do mix in a bit of opinion from time to time.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
BREAKING: Syrian Opposition Forces Reportedly Bomb Hezbollah Compounds, As Hezbollah Goes All-In On Syria
in the Free Syrian Army, the main armed group fighting to
overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad, are announcing that its
soldiers have bombed two Hezbollah compounds, one in Syria and
another in the Lebanese town of Hermel.If
confirmed the development may mark a critical turn in Syria’s
two-year war, bearing out fears that the increasingly sectarian
conflict would spill over across Syria’s borders.
FSA Chief of Staff Gen. Salim Idris gave Hezbollah an
unprecedented ultimatum: withdraw its forces from Lebanon within
48 hours or face attack.
Turkey’sAnadolunews agency reported
that Hezbollah put its forces on high alert in eight villages
near the Syrian-Lebanese border, while opposition sources told
theAl-Arabiyasatellite station that
fighting between the FSA and Hezbollah continued today.
The Political War In Lebanon
is also also scrambling politically.On
Tuesday, tensions in Lebanon boiled over following a
parliamentary decision to allow a vote on the so-called
“Orthodox Gathering” bill that would fundamentally change the
country’s voting system.Hundreds
of people filled the streets of Beirut in protest, while a
considerable number of others rallied in favor.
existing electoral framework is grounded in agreements hammered
out in 1961, and in large part it maintains the power of the old
elites – both Christian and Sunni – while marginalizing Shiites.The
new law would have every Lebanese religious sect vote only for
members of its same confession, based on a new geographic
delineation of regions and districts.The
new system would vastly increase the power of Hezbollah’s March
8 Alliance and of Lebanon’s Shiite camp in general.
remains unclear whether the bill will pass in parliament, and of
course Hezbollah’s rival March 14 Alliance is vehemently against
push for the legislation highlights the dimensions along which
it is working to retain control of Lebanon.
The Proxy War In Syria
The Towerhasalready unpackedHezbollah’s
decision to go all-in on bolstering the Syrian regime, but it
bears emphasis that in recent weeks the group’s activities in
both Lebanon and Syria have heightened and become more open. Opposition
forces claim at least 12 of the group’s members have thus far
been killed in gun battles, while Hezbollah has admitted to
suffering only a single casualty among its ranks.
of course, is not the only foreign actor active in Syria.The
war is a regional proxy conflict, with Hezbollah and its Iranian
patrons on one side, Qatar and Saudi Arabia leading the Arab
states in supporting the anti-Assad camp on another, and
regional Kurdish groups on a third.Speculation
that Saudi intelligence is operating in Lebanon and Syria is
week a Lebanese newspaper reported thatthe assassination in Syriaof Iranian general
Hassan Shateri – believed to be the head of Iran’s Revolutionary
Guard in Lebanon – was the work of Saudi intelligence agents.
of the battles reportedly involving Hezbollah forces have been
waged near Homs, not far from the Lebanese-Syrian border.The
Syrian rebels say Hezbollah is fighting to take control several
villages on the Syrian side.Assad’s
camp insists the villagers are Shiites with Lebanese citizenship
who for some unclear reason have ended up in Syria, and that
Hezbollah is gallantly protecting from the wrath of Salafist
rebels, including those of Jabhat al-Nusra.
irrespective of the battles’ final outcome, it seems Hezbollah
is making military preparations for the “day after” Assad’s fall.The
group apparently no longer has faith in the Syrian army’s
ability to withstand the rebels or to maintain Hezbollah’s
weapons caches in Syria.Hezbollah
forces are now working to transfer as much military material as
possible into Lebanese safe-havens, and to establish zones of
control to facilitate freedom of movement from Syria into
Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.Hezbollah is sending its own
fighters into Syria to accomplish those tasks, and is alsosetting up militiasamong Syrian
Shiites – some of which may have already received Hezbollah
training in Iraq.
The Gambler Who Can’t Quit
is nonetheless still unclear why Hezbollah chief Hassan
Nasrallah decided to invest so much energy and so many resources
into saving Assad.
appears to me to be a gambler who just can’t quit,” said Prof.Eyal
Zisser, the dean of Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Humanities
and an expert on Syria and Lebanon.“It’s
clear to him that he’s falling behind, but he just keeps losing
a few years ago, after the Second Lebanon War, Nasrallah was
considered the hero of the Arab world and the Lebanese nation,”
he’s viewed as the only ally, apart from Iran, of Bashar
Al-Assad [and] is denigrated by Lebanese politicians… the
European Union is even considering adding Hezbollah to its list
of terror organizations, a step that would cause it significant
may not be dealing with a popular Shiite uprising against it,
but it could still turn into an occupying army within Syria.”
Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, an
expert on Hezbollah and Lebanon, ascribes Nasrallah’s support
for Assad to Iranian influence.Levitt has quoted a number of
recent reports by the U.S. State and Treasury Departments –
which recently renewed its designation of Hezbollah as a
terrorist organization – indicating that Nasrallah personally
supervises all Hezbollah activity in Syria.
that since the 2008 assassination of Hezbollah terror mastermind
Imad Mugniyah in Damascus, Iran’s control over the group has
dramatically increased.According to Levitt, Tehran had
complete trust in Mugniyah, and allowed him a certain
Iranians have shown far less trust in the abilities of his
cousin and successor Mustafa Badr Al Din.
contends that Hezbollah has made a number of moves in recent
months that have harmed Lebanese interests and even those of the
most ready explanation for those decisions is that the
organization remains an Iranian proxy.Launching a drone into Israeli
airspace represents a particularly stark example, as do the
terror attempts against Israelis in Europe and Africa, as does
Hezbollah’s involvement in the assassination of Lebanese
political figures, as does Hezbollah’s assistance in smuggling
weapons to Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen.
the moment it doesn’t seem Hezbollah will change its strategy
any time soon, though it may be forced to adjust should battles
against the Syrian opposition escalate.
overall conflict itself, however, seems to be dragging on.Prof.
Kais Firro, an expert on Lebanon and Syria at the University of
Haifa, explained why this week: “the Syrian army is too weak to
destroy the rebels, and they’re too weak to topple it.”