Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hit Them When They Least Expect It

If Assad does win his war against all the rebels they face now that Russia helps them beat non-jihadi rebels and now that America helps defeat ISIL in Syria, Israel would be smart to hit Hezbollah hard to break their capabilities for another decade.

Israel is looking north to the threat of Hezbollah once the Syrian civil war is concluded:

Palestinian terrorism is not the only threat Israel has to cope with. Israel believes that once the Syrian civil war is over Iran-backed Hezbollah is planning to start a new terror campaign against Israel. This one would involve a new campaign to try getting attackers into Israel to do as much damage as possible. Israel has been working to deal with this since early 2015. This has involved increasing the number of combat engineer troops the army has who are trained to detect tunnels. Until now these tunnel detection specialists have mainly been used on the Gaza border but Israel believes tunnels are part of the new Hezbollah strategy. Israel is also building more border fences and walls and installing more sensors on up to a hundred kilometers of their northern border.

I've mentioned before that if Assad looks like he is going down for the count, Israel should invade Lebanese territory and drive all the way to Baalbek to smash up Hezbollah's state-within-a-state that bullies the actual Lebanese government into passivity.

Israel would gain an advantage of hitting Hezbollah while they are still focused on Syria, and would be able to exploit the need of Hezbollah fighters to move back to Lebanon by hitting Hezbollah fighters on the move to reach the southern front rather than dug in and hidden from Israeli surveillance.

Of course, now we have to consider that we've mismanaged the Syria crisis so badly that Assad could actually survive this war.

So Israel has to consider what it will do when Assad wins and Hezbollah's expeditionary force can come home and then remind their followers that they will fight Jews as much as they will fight fellow (if Sunni) Moslems in Syria.

The smart thing would be to hammer Hezbollah while they have the opportunity.

UPDATE: If the Israelis don't hit Hezbollah while they are staggering from the fight in Syria, Hezbollah will hit Israel to re-establish their street cred:

Levitt and Pollak note that since 2012, Hezbollah has “lost well over 1,000 fighters in battles against fellow Arabs and Muslims” in Syria -- more than in all its wars and battles with Israel to date.

Whereas Hezbollah was lionized throughout the Middle East for its 2006 war with Israel, by now its “standing has fallen precipitously.” The Gulf Cooperation Council has blacklisted it, and the Arab League and even the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation have denounced it. Once celebrated for heroic “resistance” to Israel, these days “the group is seen throughout the region as a sectarian weapon in Iran’s arsenal.”

While Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah keeps insisting that the Arab world backs Hezbollah, that is not the case[.]

Hezbollah will wage war on Israel to prove to their followers and the Arab world that they aren't a tool of Iran but the vanguard of resistance to Israel.

Israel had best strike first.