The situation along Israel’s northern border is rapidly deteriorating after Hezbollah stepped up its attacks on the IDF and attempted to infiltrate Israel a number of times. Rockets were also fired at Israel from the Syrian Golan Heights
Let’s first look at what happened over the past few days.
On Friday afternoon, Hezbollah made another infiltration attempt, using explosives to make a hole in the security wall. However, the IDF was ready and prevented the infiltration attempt.
Early in the morning on Saturday, Hezbollah again attempted to infiltrate Israel, but it was not revealed where exactly.
Media in Israel and Lebanon later reported that four Hezbollah terrorists were shot dead in the infiltration attempt.
During the night from Friday to Saturday, two Hezbollah drones were shot down over the Arab village of Shfa’aram near the port city of Haifa.
According to Israeli media in this case, the IDF also responded with an artillery bombardment on a Hezbollah base in Alma al-Shaab in southern Lebanon, killing a Reuters press photographer and wounding six other journalists.
On Saturday afternoon at approximately 5 p.m., 30 mortar shells were fired at IDF positions near Har Dov, east of the town of Metulla, while Hezbollah also reported the use of anti-tank missiles.
The IDF responded again with artillery shelling and used an attack drone against the terror cell that fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF base. Later, the Israeli counterattack was expanded to other Hezbollah facilities in southern Lebanon.
On Saturday evening, the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese TV station Al-Mayadeen reported that three IDF bases had been attacked with rockets. Also in this case the IDF responded with artillery, causing two deaths on the Lebanese side.
The government of Lebanon later reported that residents of villages close to the Israeli border were being evacuated and transferred to other parts of Lebanon.
On Sunday morning, October 15, the situation escalated further.
An Israeli civilian was killed when Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at the village of Shtula, which Hezbollah claims is Lebanese territory. Three other civilians were injured in the attack.
Residents of the area up to four kilometers from the border with Israel were ordered to remain in shelters until further notice.
An hour later, another anti-tank missile, probably a Kornet, was fired at an Israeli Merkava tank patrolling the border.
When writing this analysis, it is not yet known what happened to the tank’s crew as the IDF only announced that it was carrying out retaliatory attacks on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.
Tensions have risen sharply in northern Israel in recent days.
This was also the result of a number of false alarms that apparently were caused by cyber attacks on the early warning system that Israel uses to alert citizens to incoming projectiles.
There are now strong indications that the attacks carried out by Hezbollah last week on, among other things, an IDF base (3 IDF soldiers killed by a Kornet missile) were only a prelude of what is to come.
War coming in the north
These are the indications that a major war is about to break out.
The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Brigade, Esmail Qaani, is in Syria overseeing the activities of Shiite militias there. These militias are now moving from eastern Syria to the border with Israel on the Golan Heights.
Israel on Thursday prevented Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister, from landing his plane in Syria. IAF aircraft bombed the runways of Aleppo and Damascus airports.
Abdollahian then reportedly flew back to Tehran from where he traveled directly to Beirut, arriving on Friday.
He is there for talks with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and other leaders of Iranian proxies such as Hamas.
Upon arrival, the Iranian minister issued a statement indicating that new fronts could be opened against Israel. Responding to a question about a multi-front war against Israel, Abdolliahian answered that if “the crimes committed by the Zionist regime are not stopped immediately, then all options are open.”
After talks with the leaders of the “resistance bloc,” as Abdollihian called Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the Iranian minister said that “any step Hezbollah will take will result in a ‘major earthquake’ in the Zionist entity (Israel). ”
The Iranian minister also claimed that the presence of US warships off Israel’s coast was a strong indication “that Israel is on the verge of collapse.”
These comments were followed by a statement by Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General confirming that Hezbollah was ready to take action against Israel “whenever necessary.”
Members of Hezbollah in Beirut told French media that this would be “the last war against Israel.”
Defending the Palestinian national cause is a “sacred duty,” they said, echoing Iranian leader Ali Khamenei, who said exactly the same before the war in Israel. “It’s now or never,” said these Hezbollah members.
A unit of the Lebanese army has been tasked with implementing an emergency plan for the civilian population in southern Lebanon in preparation for the expected war with Israel, according to Lebanon’s 961 news organization.
US military presence
The next 24 hours are crucial and the start of the ground war in Gaza will almost certainly lead to the opening of a second front against Israel by Hezbollah.
Israel knows this and the same goes for the US administration of President Joe Biden.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Israel on Friday to hold talks with the Israeli government.
Austin previously organized the US war effort against the Islamic State group as commander of CENTCOM and said he understands the gravity of the situation.
He was not only referring to Hamas’ atrocities, but also to Iran’s activities.
The Americans have two aircraft carriers and other naval vessels off the coast of Israel, and a third is reportedly on its way, while the US Air Force in the Middle East has also been put on high alert.
It appears that the Hamas invasion of southern Israel and the increasing Hezbollah aggression against Israel are the result of a meeting held in Beirut on October 2.
There, top officials of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards and leaders of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hezbollah met to discuss the operational plan used by Hamas in the invasion of southern Israel.
Ring of fire
The current activities of Hamas, PIJ and Hezbollah are part of Iran’s ‘ring of fire’ strategy.
This strategy is being used in the now-developing multi-front war against Israel.
These fronts are Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Judea and Samaria, where terrorist attacks have been taking place on an ongoing basis since the beginning of the war, and possibly Yemen.
The Ansar Allah, or Houthi militia, in Yemen has already announced that it will join the fight if Israel continues its attacks on Gaza.
In Syria, there are signs that Iran is trying to open a third front right now.
Shiite militias have been transferred from the Deir ez-Zur area to the Syrian Golan Heights and Iran is upping its efforts to deliver sophisticated weapons to its proxies in Syria.
On Saturday evening rockets were launched from Syria to the Golan Heights in Israel that exploded in open areas causing no damage.
Also in this case the IDF limited itself to retaliatory artillery strikes on the source of the rocket fire.
On Saturday night the IAF bombed the runways of the Aleppo Airport and Damascus International Airport to prevent an Iranian civilian plane from landing.
The plane belonging to the IRGC-affiliated Mahan company was then forced to return to Iran.
Earlier there were reports of huge explosions in the area of the Al Bukamal border crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Al Bukamal or Abu Kamal is home to the giant Imam Ali base that the Quds Force of the IRGC uses to store missiles and other weaponry.
All this makes clear that Israel is headed for a long and difficult war that is about its very existence.
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