BY: William Holmes
PEJOURNAL – Israeli and regional media have recently highlighted the possibility of an imminent war with Hezbollah aimed at destroying its weapons resources. The present article deals with the possibility of this war, the motives and obstacles of the two sides, and its regional effects.
Strategic think tank of explanation
Hezbollah has released a video threatening to destroy key Israeli bases with point-to-point missiles in recent weeks. Israeli Defense Minister Beni Gantz also blamed the Lebanese government for any possible Hezbollah attack on the Zionist regime, citing Hezbollah’s efforts to expand its missiles. Examining the military capabilities of the two sides and the motivations and obstacles in their way to start such a war will help to better understand the situation in the region.
The military and weapons situation of the Zionist regime and Hezbollah
In terms of military weapons, it can be said that the Zionist regime is the first power in the region. The Zionist regime’s missile project is more than a decade old. The regime is also equipped with the most advanced fighters, including F-35s purchased from the United States, high-tech armed drones, and nuclear weapons. This year’s statistics show that the Zionist army has 170,000 active military personnel, 445,000 reserve military personnel, 589 warplanes, military transport and military helicopters, and 2760 tanks.
This year’s statistics show that the Zionist army has 170,000 active military personnel, 445,000 reserve military personnel, 589 warplanes, military transport and military helicopters, and 2760 tanks.
In contrast, the Zionist regime estimates that Hezbollah has 25,000 troops, 5,000 of whom have received advanced training in Iran. The group also posed a military threat to Tel Aviv with drones, air defense systems, armored vehicles and even coastal tanks and missiles – which it could use to threaten Israeli naval vessels. has done. But Hezbollah’s main weapon is its missiles, which are advancing rapidly with the help of Iran.
According to Israeli sources, Hezbollah has between 100,000 and 150,000 missiles, most of which are short-range, and in a possible future war, the group will be able to fire more than 1,000 missiles a day at targets inside the Zionist regime. Tel Aviv, versus, is trying to counter the threat through advanced missile defense systems such as the Iron Dome and Patriot, but Tel Aviv military officials acknowledge that none of these systems cannot fully protect the Israeli skies against Hezbollah missiles.
Hezbollah’s motives and obstacles in the war with the Zionist regime
In general, it can be said that in the current situation, Hezbollah has no motive to fight the Zionist regime. Even if Hezbollah has a relative military readiness for such a war, it does not want to do so at all due to the political and economic situation in Lebanon. In the Lebanese political scene, Hezbollah, along with other members of the Lebanese government, has been the target of popular protests against the government’s corruption and inefficiency for months. The protests continued in recent weeks after a long hiatus due to the corona spread.
One of the slogans of these protests is the disarmament of Hezbollah, and groups of demonstrator’s blame Hezbollah for fuel smuggling on the border with Syria.
The intensity of the protests and the resulting clashes in early June was so great that, for example, the Russian Federal News Agency called it a reminder of the events leading up to the start of the Lebanese civil war. The Russian media, citing religious differences that led to the burning of a photo of Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah in the protests, called it an alarm for intensification of sectarian strife Lebanon.
In general, it can be said that in the current situation, Hezbollah has no motive to fight the Zionist regime. Even if Hezbollah has a relative military readiness for such a war, it does not want to do so at all due to the political and economic situation in Lebanon.
On the other hand, the Lebanese economy is at its worst in three decades. The country’s economy has always been in poor condition due to corruption and mismanagement, but in recent years’ other problems have been added to the previous ones. For example, the unemployment rate in the country has now reached 35% as a result of the spread of the Corona virus. In such a situation, Lebanon is in dire need of financial resources, and foreign loans are the only way to obtain these resources;
While foreign parties want to use this situation to put the country’s internal forces against Hezbollah. For example, at a Lebanese cabinet meeting a few weeks ago to discuss the sanctions, Nizar Zaka, who had been detained in Iran for some time, said that the sanctions would definitely include Lebanon, adding that there are not accepted any discussion on approving relations, especially economic and financial relations with Syria and Hezbollah.
According to a report by the Washington Institute also, the United States is seeking to force the Lebanese government to intense monitoring of its border with Syria in order to prevent fuel smuggling into Syria and the import of weapons from that country to Lebanon. Last month, Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riyad Salameh publicly accused Hezbollah of smuggling, saying the move would cost the Lebanese economy $ 4 billion a year.
According to the report, Caesar’s law could help the Lebanese government to strengthen its sovereignty over non-state actors and to implement UN resolutions on the disarmament of Hezbollah.
In fact, Hezbollah faces the threat of a boycott within Lebanese society. obviously any war with the Zionist regime, in addition to destroying Hezbollah positions and Lebanese infrastructure, will also lead to the destruction of the group’s social base. The Zionist regime’s threats to destroy Lebanese infrastructure and high Lebanese civilian casualties in this war are mainly aimed at destroying Hezbollah’s social base.
For example, the far-right politician Naftali Bennett long ago stated that Hezbollah and Lebanon could not be separated and that in the coming war with Hezbollah, Lebanon’s national infrastructure should also be considered a legitimate military target.
On the other hand, the situation in the region has not stabilized for about a decade after the war in Syria, and obviously Hezbollah is more willing to consolidate its achievements on this front. However, due to strict sanctions, Iran also faces severe financial constraints and is hardly able to help its regional ally in the event of a crisis. In particular, one of the aims of Caesar’s law is to cut off land links between Syria and Lebanon to prevent weapons being sent to Hezbollah. Obviously, all the actions of the United States and the Zionist regime are designed within the framework of a plan to fight Hezbollah, and Hezbollah’s threats are only a deterrent response.
The Zionist regime’s threats to destroy Lebanese infrastructure and the high Lebanese civilian casualties in this war are mainly aimed at destroying Hezbollah’s social base.
Motivations and obstacles of the Zionist regime in the war against Hezbollah
In contrast, Tel Aviv has many incentives to go to war with Hezbollah. The existence of the Zionist regime in the region has not been accepted yet, and Tel Aviv considers Iran and its regional ally Hezbollah to be the most important obstacle in this direction. After years of sanctions against Iran, Tel Aviv and Washington now see Iran as weak and relatively confident of their eventual victory. In fact, the process of annexing the occupied Palestinian territories at the same time as the sanctions against Syria and the discussion of the war are all understandable in the context of trying to establish a new order in the region and stabilize the position of the Zionist regime.
On the other hand, Hezbollah missiles are the most important source of concern for Tel Aviv. Because this weapon increases the fighting ability of this group to the level of a national army. Hezbollah will enjoy all the benefits of such an air force without the need for it. Hezbollah precision-guided missiles will be able to target any vital Israeli facilities and civilian population centers.
Israeli analysts believe that active defense against such a missile threat, while a necessary condition, is not enough, and the need to protect critical installations with thick concrete walls is, although technically possible, very costly and time consuming. Another answer would be to diversify the Israeli Air Force’s offensive capability to act in the early stages of the coming war; That is what Hezbollah is currently doing.
Thus, the best option for Israel is to prevent Hezbollah from gaining access to these missiles, either through pre-emptive strikes such as those in Syria or through a direct war, albeit at the cost of relatively extensive damage to Tel Aviv.
In Lebanon, analysts are aware of Tel Aviv’s desire for such a war. For example, in an interview with Al-Jazeera, Halil Khashan, a professor of political science at the University of Beirut, emphasized the certainty of the war with Hezbollah as part of a growing US effort to blockade Iran and its allies in the region.
However, there are obstacles in the way for Tel Aviv officials. One of these obstacles is the political crisis and the trial of Netanyahu on charges of corruption and bribery. Netanyahu’s current cabinet was formed after three elections, and any unexpected events and defeats in the war could lead to the fall of his cabinet. At the societal level, Israeli politicians are also concerned about how to prepare the people for the possible mass destruction resulting from a major military conflict with Hezbollah.
According to Zionist analysts, Israeli youth are less aware of the threat of direct attack than the older generation, and the army’s ability to thwart less advanced Gaza missile threats has raised expectations of the regime’s defense system to counter Hezbollah missiles. According to this group of experts, Tel Aviv must quickly end the war by combining heavy military and intelligence forces before inflicting heavy casualties inside. However, nothing is predictable on the ground, and this is one of the limitations of Tel Aviv starting the war.
Given the purpose of this war, which is to cut off Iran’s regional arm, Hezbollah, Iran will have to react. The intensity of the reaction will depend on the severity of the conflict and Hezbollah’s need for Iranian assistance.
Economically, the Zionist regime is facing difficulties in starting such a war. Like many countries, this regime has faced many problems with the outbreak of the corona, and many have fallen below the poverty line due to unemployment and in need of social security services. This situation will put a lot of pressure on the social welfare system of this regime.
Even now, the difficult situation in this sector has provoked protests in Israeli society. In recent weeks, for example, social workers have staged protests aimed at improving their working conditions. They see the social services sector as fragmented for reasons such as the sharp increase in their low-wage assistance needs.
Regional consequences of the war between Israel and Hezbollah
Regardless of the motives and obstacles, the possibility of a war between Hezbollah and the Zionist regime is so serious that none of the researchers denies it and only considers time as the issue. Accordingly, the timing of such a war also depends on a wrong decision or calculation in Iran or Lebanon. This is important in that the Zionist regime seems willing to place the responsibility for starting such a war on Hezbollah or Iran, given the internal obstacles mentioned. Therefore, any provocative action by Tel Aviv should be looked at it this way.
On the other hand, there is a danger that such a war will not be limited to Lebanon and the Zionist regime and will lead to a regional war with the presence of Iran and the countries of the Persian Gulf and even the United States. In this way, all the regional and international forces that were previously pursuing their strategic goals in the context of the Syrian war will find a new battlefield with the emergence of a new war. In this way, even Russia, Turkey and the Kurds may be drawn into such a war.
Consequences of the war in the region for Iran
Regionally, such a war would have dire consequences for Iran. Given the purpose of this war, which is to cut off Iran’s regional arm, Hezbollah, Iran will have to react. The intensity of the reaction will depend on the severity of the conflict and Hezbollah’s need for Iranian assistance. However, due to sanctions, Iran does not have the financial resources to enter such a large-scale war.
Also, due to the changes resulting from the coming to power of the Al-Kazemi government in Iraq, as well as the sanctions against Syria, the route of military aid to Hezbollah will probably be blocked. In the meantime, Iran has to consider the interests of Russia as the most effective current player in Syria, which in turn will limit Iran’s reactions.
Given what has been said, the occurrence of war between Hezbollah and Israel is more or less certain. But it seems that Tel Aviv is trying to put the responsibility for starting such a war on Hezbollah and Iran in order to get rid of the pressure of public opinion in case of any problems and possible failures. In such circumstances, the best option for Iran and Hezbollah is to refrain from responding to Tel Aviv movements, of course, along with a level of deterrent threats.