Chances are “not low” that the Lebanese terrorist militia Hezbollah and its ally in the Syrian regime, both proxies of Iran, will soon make a “mistake” that results in a major regional war.
That according to an assessment by Aharon Haliva, head of the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate, delivered on Monday at a conference hosted by the Institute for Policy and Strategy of Reichman University in Herzliya.
Haliva noted that Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has been growing emboldened of late, and now believes he can alter the balance of power with Israel.
“The story of the terrorist at the Meggido Junction isn’t a one-off,” Haliva stressed. In March of this year, a terrorist believed to have infiltrated from Lebanon or who was sponsored by Hezbollah set off a bomb in northern Israel injuring one man. It was considered by Israel to be a major escalation.
“Nasrallah is close to making a mistake that could plunge the region into a big war. He is close to making this mistake from Lebanon or Syria,” continued Haliva.
On Sunday, Hezbollah forces held a large-scale military training maneuver on the Israel-Lebanon border, and invited journalists to document the event.
The exercise included Hezbollah’s significant rocket forces, as well as ground forces consisting of small, agile vehicles.
Israeli analysts have warned that in a future conflict with Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist militia will try to penetrate the border and make lightning raids on Israeli towns in the north of the country. It could even try to occupy smaller towns or villages before the IDF can be full mobilized, and hold the local population hostage.
As for Syria, Haliva worries that an escalation with Hezbollah is made more likely by the Arab League’s re-embrace of the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad.
For the past 12 years the Arab League has ostracized Assad over his regime’s crimes during the ongoing Syrian civil war, as well as his closeness to the Iranian regime. But last week, Assad was invited to take part in the Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia, and he made the most of it.
“All this creates a high potential for an escalation in the region, and we need to be prepared for the possibility that our enemies don’t understand the message we’re sending,” said the Israeli intel chief.
But he warned: “Let there be no mistake, we’re ready to use force and we will do whatever is possible and necessary to bring calm.”
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