Saturday, January 26, 2019

Setting the Shield Wall

Israel is strengthening their defenses on the border with Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah infiltration and ground attacks:

Israel has created a new army reserve battalion to improve defenses along the 79 kilometer long Lebanese border. With the increasing threat from Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, and the discovery of five and destruction of four Hezbollah tunnels at the end of 2018, the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) revised its security measures for the Lebanese border. A key element in that is the new “Gates of Fire” reserve infantry battalion for the Baram reserve infantry brigade. ...

The new battalion is largely composed of soldiers who had recently served in the Reconnaissance Battalion of the Golani Brigade, which is in charge of defending the Syrian border and Golan Heights. Every Israeli infantry brigade has a Reconnaissance Battalion which handles more than reconnaissance. One of the three companies in these battalions is a reconnaissance unit the other two companies handle combat engineers and heavy weapons. Thus using men who ended their active service in the Golani Reconnaissance Battalion in the last four years provides the Gates of Fire battalion with troops already trained to handle the unique situation found on the Lebanese border (which now includes tunnel detection or at least dealing with the possibility of more tunnels) and defense of a wall that already covers a third of the Lebanese border and will eventually cover all of it.

The northern shield of walls and the anti-tunnel operation are now joined by personnel trained to hold the walls and stop the tunnels.

Is Israel building a passive wall or preparing to push their sword through the shield wall to gut their Hezbollah enemy before it can return from Syria and reset to face and fight the Israelis on better terms?

UPDATE: From the Be Careful What You Wish For files: Hezbollah warns Israel about attacking targets in Syria:

The head of the militant Hezbollah group in Lebanon warned Israel late Saturday over its continued attacks in Syria, saying a miscalculation could drag the region into a war.

Hassan Nasrallah made the comment during a wide-ranging interview that lasted more than three hours with the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV station.

Nasrallah said Iran, Syria and Hezbollah could "at any moment" decide to deal differently with Israel's actions in Syria and hinted that Tel Aviv might be a target.

Israel could attack Hezbollah in Lebanon instead.

With a bonus threat to Tel Aviv that would justify an Israeli invasion of Lebanon to inflict a body blow on Hezbollah by driving all the way to Baalbek to tear up Hezbollah's rear area support infrastructure while occupying the rocket-launching sites in the south.

UPDATE: Has Iran picked up chatter of a pending Israeli attack?

"We announce that if Israel takes any action to wage a war against us, it will definitely lead to its own elimination and freeing occupied territories," Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of the IRGC, was quoted as saying.

Hezbollah is the IRGC's (aka Revolutionary Guards or Pasdaran) crown jewel of proxy forces. Do the Pasdaran worry Israel could destroy it?

And again, I know I am disposed to looking for dots to plug into a picture I already drew.

UPDATE: And, return:

Israel's prime minister warned the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah of his army's "lethal" power on Sunday, in reaction to Hassan Nasrallah cautioning the Jewish state against further strikes in Syria.

"The lethal striking force of the IDF (Israeli army) stands facing Hezbollah," Israel's premier Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting.

Is this just a war of words or is Netanyahu telegraphing real capabilities now facing Hezbollah?