Beyond the Cusp

May 15, 2017

Hezballah Threats Growing in Intensity

 

When threats of Hezballah invading Israel start being the next great idea used by Hassan Nasrallah to rally the troops and spark excitement in the Lebanese Shiite public replacing his usual anti-Christian rhetoric and claims of preparedness to repel and Israeli attack which may be imminent as the Jews nefarious ways can never be predicted, one can only expect the worst. That such news would be reported by, of all places, Yahoo News then either things are a whole lot worse than one thinks or Yahoo was going for broke trying to sell the story. The problem is Nasrallah has been speaking big much more than usual of late and that never bodes well. Part of the reason for his big chest pounding rhetoric could largely be due to things not going as well as hoped for on the Syrian front and Hezballah has been losing more men than they had initially expected when answering the call from Iran to assist Bashir al-Assad hold to power in Syria. Hezballah has lost a number of commanders including Mustafa Badriddine whose death was commemorated this past week in Lebanon. This too could be a further reason for the boastful threats by Nasrallah as he needs to make it sound as if the Syrian debacle has not swerved the terror outfit from fighting their supposed main enemies, Israel. Whenever the troops and/or the people need a little pick-me-up, well, there’s nothing like some anti-Israel threats topped with a little anti-Semitic slurs claiming that the Jews could never match his Hezbollah fighters.

 

Hassan Nasrallah

Hassan Nasrallah

 

In Nasrallah’s televised speech he declared, “Israel has been threatening for 10 years to open a front against Hezbollah, but it hasn’t done anything. Israel is afraid of any confrontation.” This is standard grist for the mill and can be found in virtually every Nasrallah speech in some form or another. The interesting declaration, which has been added in the last couple of years, has been the insistence that the next war, whether started by Israel or by Hezballah, will be fought in the Galilee, otherwise called occupied Palestine. They can only use the word Israel in conjunction with words such as annihilation, decimation, elimination or other wonderful threat or another, otherwise it is always occupied Palestine, occupied territory, occupied something or another. Nasrallah’s speeches almost always speak of the massive armaments and fearless Hezballah fighters who are going to fight scared Israelis, again win another war against the accursed Jews or some other fantastical fantasy, if you will permit the double-speak. Somehow redundancies actually seemed apropos when speaking of Nasrallah and his threats which come periodically from the man who seldom leaves his presumed hidden bunker appearing solely by teleconference on a bigger than life television screen even for outside events.

 

We have often wondered what he is making up for with these super-sized television screens. It couldn’t be some inadequacy such as fear of assassination, which keeps him seriously safe from anyone who might desire to replace him thinking that his actions have betrayed their main purpose and is now sacrificing their people in the service of Iranian and Syrian overlords. There are likely some who feel that Nasrallah has failed in many ways including not taking care of job number one, Israel, and instead is wasting lives and resources fighting in the Syria civil war. Somebody does not appreciate that the Iranians pay the bills and provide the weaponry, especially the advanced rockets and missiles including those, which can reach from Lebanon into Egypt and Saudi Arabia, not to mention all of Israel. That is the problem as well, as the Iranians have provided, over the past five years, somewhere between one-hundred-thousand and two-hundred-thousand rockets and missiles of varying sizes and ranges including Scuds and Chinese knockoffs made in Iran, missiles including the C-701 and C-802 and Yakhont subsonic Chinese anti-ship missiles, as well as Zelzal-1 and 2, Fateh-110, Fajr-3 and 5 Missiles and a myriad of smaller rockets which can rain down on many towns and cities in northern Israel. Making matters slightly more problematic is the fact that Hezballah is aligned, more like subsumed, by the Lebanese Army which provides them with tanks, the T-55, T-62, and T-72 Russian Main Battle Tanks as well as M-1 Abrams United States Main Battle Tank. This also includes Armored Personnel Carriers. Their armaments also include various MANPADS (anti-aircraft man-carried anti-aircraft rockets) SA-7, SA-14, SA-16, SA-18, FIM-92 Stinger, QW-1 Vanguard, Misagh-1 and Misagh-2 which are of Russian, American and Iranian manufacture. They also possess both stationary and self-propelled anti-aircraft weapons. Further Hezballah received SA-8, SA-17, SA-22 and the Sayyad-2 surface to air missile systems. Further weapons include a myriad of anti-tank missiles from wire-guided to fire and forget and everything in between. Hezballah has become the beneficiary of main battle tanks, which they could never have gained on their own but were capable of purchasing them through the Lebanese Military, which claimed they had no connection with Hezballah when making the arrangements with the United States for the Abrams Main Battle Tanks, which was a complete and utter misrepresentation of the truth. We suspect that the Obama Administration was fully aware of the lie but went through with the deal in order to provide Hezballah with this formidable weapon system. Also attained by the Lebanese Army were seventy M-198 Howitzer artillery units, along with twenty-six-million rounds of ammunition. A summary reported by Breitbart tells that, “Lebanon is now the 5th largest recipient in the world of U.S. military foreign assistance. Over $100 million last year, and over $1 billion in the last 8 years.” The list of weaponry provided all but directly to Hezballah by the United States is astounding and frightening making one wonder who was the person behind making such weapons available to the second arm of Hezballah, the Lebanese Military which were known to be one and the same as long as a decade ago when it was first suspected by the administration of George W. Bush though they refused to go public and stay from admitting any direct link.

 

We can only hope that with a new administration in the White House that shipments of such weaponry to the Lebanese Military, and thus to Hezballah, have come to a close. Still, the damage has been done and cannot be undone. These weapons make the threats by Nasrallah all the more dangerous and the chance of war far more likely, not less. Hezballah has at most a limited number of pilots making them completely dependent upon the Lebanese pilots. The only other break is that the Lebanese Air Force is completely made of helicopters that can be dangerous to fixed wing aircraft no matter the sophistication. The Israeli Defense Forces also have helicopters that include the Apache, very likely one of the most advanced and capable attack helicopters. Still, any war between Hezballah and Israel would include the Lebanese military making it an all-out war between the two nations. Israel has realized this and made it evidently clear through contacts that any attacks by Hezballah would be taken by Israel as a declaration of war by Lebanon and constitute a state of war between the two nations. Israel desires to keep the peace with her neighbors but the threats and boasting by Nasrallah will eventually lead to the rank and file terrorist fighters that make up Hezballah’s fighting force demanding to be permitted their glorious and victorious war with Israel. Nasrallah realized that any war with Israel would devastate all of Lebanon and Hezballah but he does not care. Nasrallah will continue to periodically make his threats despite knowing that some day his big mouth will trigger that hated of results, an infernal war which destroys both nations with one probably incapable of recovering and the other taking a long time but rebuilding and, believe it or not, once rebuilt offering to assist the other as that is the Israeli way, help people, even former enemies. Israel sent tons of relief aid including food, medicines, diesel fuel, electricity, water and other provisions into Gaza during the Gaza War with Hamas even to include a field hospital at one of the crossings because the average Gazan was not the problem and should suffer as little as possible. The same will be true for Lebanon as much as conditions allow, but the conditions are likely to be horrific as Hezballah, like Hamas, use the civilians to protect their military assets. The real problem is not his threats but that one-day he will use such a threat to launch such an attack leading to total carnage, mostly in Lebanon, once their initial assault has been turned back as the rockets and missiles are the real threat, not so much any ground fighting. That day will provide an honest evaluation of the limits to Israeli missile defenses where Iron Dome, David’s Sling and both Arrow 1 and 2 will need to work together and seamlessly if Israel will be successfully defended.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 4, 2013

Syria and Israel as the Rumors Fly

It is rumored and pretty much understood that there were a couple of Israeli launched airstrikes against positions and assets inside Syria. There are varying stories as to what exactly was the target of these airstrikes. The initial rumor released by the newswires was that the Israelis struck a truck convoy which was to transfer SA-17 Russian manufactured anti-aircraft missiles to Hezballah in Lebanon. The Syrians claim that what was struck was a military research facility which was used to develop military technologies. Some rumors implied that the facility was a chemical weapons factory but such was not confirmed by Syria. It was recognized that the Syrian sources had a very good reason to deny that they had been preparing to send SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles to Hezballah as they had an agreement with the Russians that the sale of these advances weapons were strictly for use by Syria and would never be transferred to other users, especially Hezballah. Syria would not wish to antagonize their foremost weapons supplier and the veto in the United Nations Security Council which the Russian possess.

Israel, as is their usual protocol, has not admitted nor denied their involvement in the airstrike on Syria. In unofficial statements the Israelis have admitted that they had a high priority on preventing the arming of Hezballah with the SA-17 missiles and that they were not simply boasting when they had stated that the attempt to transfer either such weapons or any chemical weapons to Hezballah in Lebanon would be crossing a red line and would be treated as an act of war against Israel. Their basic position could be seen as claiming that they had prayed that such a transfer would not take place and their prayers were answered. Meanwhile, the Israelis have taken precautions against any retaliatory strike by positioning Iron dome batteries to the north of the country. They have one near Haifa and another placed in the Central Galilee. This has also raised the anxiety of many who live in the north though you would be hard pressed to tell as they continue with their daily lives as to act otherwise would be a form of defeat.

There have been numerous threats made against Israel from numerous fronts. Syria has claimed that they have the means with which to retaliate and strike a mortal blow against Israel and will decide when and how to take their revenge. The Iranian leaders have claimed their right to also respond to the Israeli aggressions and have promised to make Israel and the Hegemonic Force to pay for their actions against the Iranian ally, Syria. Translating, the Hegemonic Force the Iranians are referring to is the United States which is quite normal for them. Iran tends to blame Israel and the United States jointly for any action the Iranians disapprove by either country. They appear to believe that the United States and Israel confer and jointly act as one such that any act by either one damns both in the eyes of Iran. Iran also added that their retaliation might come in the form of an attack made at their direction by their ally Syria; as if Syria would need to be told to attack as otherwise they would forget. Also, Hezballah claims the right to retaliate against Israel for the unwarranted aggression against their ally Syria which they claim had endangered their people as well. With responses like this, it is no wonder why it is often thought that any action made by Israel might ignite the whole of the Middle East. There have been threats made against Israel by similar forces after one of them has committed a very serious terrorist attack which they fear will require an Israeli response. The hope is that Israel would forgo any retaliation if the consequences appear to be too dire. An additional reason for such threats is these terrorists know they can count on the United Nations, the European Union, many NGOs, and numerous individual countries to join their chorus and demand that Israel and all sides show suitable restraint. Strange is there is never a call for quiet and restraint when Israel is the subject of terrorist threats or other aggressions by neighboring countries near and far. Example is the numbers of times the worldly powers that be have insisted Israel take no actions against the Iranian nuclear program without first receiving the blessings from those who will never grant such permission. I guess when it comes to Israel and violent actions the world believes that concerning Israel, it is better to receive than to give. And to think that Israel does not appreciate such generosity.

Beyond the Cusp

Blog at WordPress.com.