- Is War Between Israel And Hezbollah Imminent?
by Elijah Magnier, Middle East based chief international war correspondent for Al Rai Media , via http://www.zerohedge.com/
The US has raised the level of tension with Iran without taking any concrete steps to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal. The reason why Trump is expected to limit himself to verbal abuse and continue threatening hostile measures against Tehran without executing them is fundamentally to avoid a breach between the US and the EU. The Nuclear deal is not bilateral, so the withdrawal of the US theoretically cannot scupper it. Nevertheless Iran is likely to consider the deal totally void if the US pulls out, with all that that implies. So the US continues its aggressive verbal campaigns against Iran, confusing the Europeans, who rightly fail to predict what decisions this US President is capable of adopting in the medium to long term.
However, the target is not only Iran but also its main ally and military arm in the Middle East: the Lebanese Hezbollah. The US posted bounties on two Hezbollah members of the military council (the highest military authority within the organisation), Haj Fuad Shukr and Haj Talal Hamiyeh, allocating “$12 million to whomsoever is able to offer information” that brings these two to justice. The US bounty purposely showed old photos of the two men to avoid revealing the intelligence sources which have provided the most recent ones. The main question remains: which country is going to take advantage of such an offer, and how?
Tel Aviv – like Washington – is limiting itself to adopting a threatening rhetoric, talking about “a nearby war” against Hezbollah but without taking the narrative further or adopting any belligerent steps besides the rumbling of its drums.
In the unlikely event of war between Israel and Hezbollah, there is no doubt that Israel has the destructive military capability to bring back Lebanon to the “Stone Age,” as it claims. However, this is a situation that the Lebanese have already experience of since the civil war in1975 and the two (1982 and 2006) Israeli wars. In these wars, Israel launched attacks and destroyed the Lebanese infrastructure, killing thousands of civilians and hundreds of Hezbollah militants.
However, there is also no doubt that Hezbollah would give Israel a taste of a similar “Stone Age” scenario, with its tens of thousands of rockets and missiles, among them some of the very highest accuracy. The Israeli population however is not accustomed to such a harsh possible scenario: Hezbollah missiles will hit the infrastructure (bridges, concentration locations, markets, water, electricity, chemical plants and more), harbours, airports, military barracks and institutions, and civilian homes.