[Independent] "... No-one doubts the fire-power or tenacity of this most-efficient of guerrilla movements. If it did not win the 2006 war against Israel, then Israel certainly lost it, retreating back across its frontier after fierce, face-to-face combat with Hezbollah fighters. Israel – along with America – regularly refers to Hezbollah as “terrorists”, but Israeli troops who have fought the guerrillas have talked of them with something approaching respect. Hezbollah doesn’t run away.
But the organisation has always suffered from two basic flaws: it is essentially a Shia Muslim group – and thus sectarian by its very nature – and it is funded annually by millions of dollars from Iran. Hezbollah’s continued support for Assad, who is an Alawite – effectively of the Shia faith – further “sectarianises” its outlook, ....
Far more worrying for the country, and for many in the government in which Hezbollah also sits, was the pilotless drone which Hezbollah sent over Israel and was only shot down after flying for hundreds of kilometres. Hezbollah said it was made from an Iranian kit put together in Lebanon, and that it took photographs of Israel before its destruction – which may well be true – but this represented a serious escalation of tension between Lebanon and Israel. The Lebanese government can hardly expect the United Nations to listen to its complaints of daily Israeli flyovers when – without any permission from the government – Hezbollah carries out intelligence flyovers from the Bekaa Valley.
More than a year ago, Hezbollah sent another drone over Galilee and managed to bring it back undamaged to the Bekaa after flying it close to the supposedly top-secret Israeli listening post in the hills east of Haifa. The latest drone was a message from Iran: attack Iranian nuclear sites and Hezbollah drones can attack Israel.
The Israelis themselves believe that if another war breaks out with Hezbollah, Lebanese fighters will seek to enter Israel on the coast and move southwards across Israel’s sovereign territory, albeit intended as a symbolic victory rather than any real attempt to “liberate Palestine”.....
But the future hangs heavily upon it. If the Assad regime collapses and is replaced by an Islamist-style Sunni power in Damascus, then Hezbollah will be alone in the Levant, with more than 500 miles of hostile Syrian and Iraqi sand and rock between Lebanon and the Iranian frontier.
If Western support for the Syrian rebels is the West’s attempt to destroy Iran’s only Arab ally, then Hezbollah will be alone and Israel will be delighted. So will the US. Unless, of course, Bashar al-Assad survives. ..."
Monday, November 12, 2012
"If Assad goes, Hezbollah will be alone in the Levant – much to the delight of Israel"
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 10:29 AM