Southern Lebanon this week
Last week –according to foreign media – Israel bombed a convoy that transferred Russian made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The delivery of these advanced missiles would have been a game changer in the conflict with Israel and was a clear violation of UN resolution 1701 that aimed the disarmament of Hezbollah.
The plan to disarm the Shiite terrorist organization has failed miserably. Today Hezbollah is said to be in the possession of between 50.000 and 60.000 missiles that are aimed at Israel. Some of them can reach Eilat the most southern city of Israel.
Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah have escalated over the last two months, leading to regular IAF reconnaissance flights over Lebanon and the deployment of three Iron Dome missile batteries in northern Israel.
Lebanon’s ambassador to the UN Nawaf Salam, last week submitted a statistical summary to the Security council of 54 violations supposedly committed by Israel of resolution 1701 that ended the Second Lebanon war in 2006.
Israel is closely monitoring the situation in Syria and the possible transfer of Assad’s weapons of mass destruction to Hezbollah, which is considered a red line by the IDF.
Today Lebanese media reported new IAF over flights in Lebanon. Two Israeli reconnaissance planes and six fighter jets entered Lebanese airspace and flew over Beirut on Friday. According to the Daily Star in Lebanon the IDF also set up new posts for additional tanks along the border with Lebanon.
At the same time Hezbollah tightened its grip on southern Lebanon. This is done by turning villages into fighting zones but also by harassment of UNIFIL forces that were supposed to stop the flow of arms to Hezbollah.
Last month an Italian UNIFIL patrol was stopped by Hezbollah supporters and robbed of its photo equipment.
Later a Finnish patrol was attacked in the Bint Jebeil area after one of the UN soldiers took photo’s of Hezbollah’s security zone. Last Saturday pretty much the same happened to Belgian peacekeepers in the Sidon area.
The further disintegration of Assad’s regime will surely lead to more attempts to transfer weapons of mass destruction to Lebanon. In that case Israel will almost certainly launch a new military operation against Hezbollah. The recent increase in military activity shows that the IDF is preparing for such a scenario.