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’Israel’s’ Coming War with Hezbollah
Thomas Donnelly

Analyzing a possible future ‘Israeli' war with Hezbollah, Thomas Donnelly cited Willy Stern's in his "Missiles Everywhere," as saying that an ‘Israel'-Hezbollah conflict would be nasty and brutish but not short.

Israeli vehicle on fire

Ever since its 2006 clash with ‘Israel', Hezbollah has been stockpiling hundreds of thousands of rockets, missiles, and mortars capable of reaching not just border areas but deep into ‘Israel,' Donnelly wrote for The Weekly Standard.

"This arsenal includes hundreds of ballistic missiles capable of carrying chemical warheads as well as substantial conventional explosives," he further noted.

More important is their improved accuracy; Hezbollah might actually hit something for a change, and not just large cities like Jerusalem [al-Quds] and Tel Aviv but military bases and airports. Despite ‘Israel's' development of the "Iron Dome," "Arrow," and "David's Sling," it's unlikely that an all-out or sustained series of attacks could be fully blunted.

According to the author, Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in June that the resistance men would be reinforced in battle by "tens.  .  . or even hundreds of thousands" of fighters from Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In parallel, ‘Israeli' intelligence assessments put the likely strength of such forces at about 40,000.

Jeffrey White of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has long argued that the next ‘Israel'-Hezbollah conflict would be quite unlike the 2006 edition of this "forever" war or any of the recent ‘Israeli' campaigns against Hamas. The numbers of missiles, including anti-ship cruise missiles, would dwarf previous Hezbollah salvos and, including upgraded versions of the ubiquitous Scud, could be launched from deep within Lebanon at targets deep within ‘Israel'. And ‘Israel' could well confront its nightmare scenario-a two-front war in the form of simultaneous attacks launched from the Syrian part of the Golan Heights.

‘Israel' has not faced such a powerful threat since the 1973 war, and confronting the Iran-Hezbollah-Assad coalition will tax the ‘Israeli' Occupation Forces [IOF] heavily. While the ‘Israeli' air force has long ruled the local skies, the proliferation of advanced Russian-made air defenses calls into question how rapidly-and at what cost-the IOF can establish or sustain the kind of air supremacy it will need. The best way to remove the Hezbollah missile threat is to seek and destroy the launchers or to deny use of customary launch sites. The ‘Israelis' have worked very hard to improve their mobile-missile-hunting abilities, but this would be a risky mission.

‘Israel' has worked to improve the survivability of its mechanized infantry and armored forces and the responsiveness, lethality, and accuracy of its artillery.

For its part, Hezbollah, which showed considerable tactical skill in defending southern Lebanon in 2006, has added advanced anti-armor weaponry and new layers of defenses. The terrain in southern Lebanon and on the Golan is well suited for such purposes; ‘Israel' will have to pick its way forward cautiously, through ambush after ambush, and ultimately it may have to go farther north and east than in 2006, the writer concluded.

Source: The Weekly Standard, Edited by website team

04-11-2017 | 12:06


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