After 20 years of withdrawal, are Hezbollah and Israeli forces preparing for war?
Reports suggest that something is brewing up between militia group Hezbollah and Israel. According to an AP report, both Hezbollah and Israeli security forces are preparing for a confrontation. The report says that the Israeli troops are attacking the guerilla front’s strongholds in Syria. The troops are also reported to be drilling, which hints that they are preparing for an attack on Lebanon.
The Hezbollah is also enhancing its striking capabilities and drumming up to invade Israel. According to Col. Israel Friedler, an Israeli commander who has been overseeing an exercise simulating a war with Hezbollah in northern Israel, “We are preparing seriously for the next war. We’re not taking any shortcuts because we understand we have to be extremely strong to defeat the enemy.”
Ever since Hezbollah was created in the 1980s, the two sides have been engaged in several confrontations. About 20 years back, the militant group had pushed back Israel from the South of Lebanon.
The guerilla group was raised with aid from Iran to push back Israel from Lebanon. Before the withdrawal of Israeli troops in 2000, both sides were engaged in nasty attacks targeting each side with roadside bombs and snipers.
The two sides were again engaged in a confrontation in 2006, in an inconclusive month-long war. Since then, the border between Lebanon and Israel has remained calm.
Over the years, the militia group has emerged as a powerful entity exercising huge influence in Lebanon’s politics. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab is backed by Hezbollah’s political wing. The Lebanese Parliament is dominated by the political side of Hezbollah and its allies.
Analysts from the region believe Hezbollah’s plan to engage in Lebanese soil with Israel might be ill-timed. The Lebanese economy is certainly not in its best shape, including the areas where Hezbollah maintains a stronghold. The sanctions imposed on the group and Iran by the US have choked its finances. Moreover, the group has suffered considerable losses in the ongoing civil war in Syria, fighting alongside President Bashar Al Assad’s forces.
Some experts believe that Hezbollah might not be in a battle mode due to the same concerns.The Israeli army believes that the militant group has developed the ability to stage missile attacks on Israeli soil over the years. There are much speculation and anticipation over the uneasy calm that exists in the region.