TEL AVIV – There is the potential for a serious clash between Hezbollah and Israel, a senior Arab intelligence official said.
“We see a low-key mobilization of reserve forces on the Israeli side,” he said, speaking to Breitbart Jerusalem. “Israel focuses on reducing its exposure to Hezbollah’s rockets, meaning that after Hezbollah fires several hundred in the first few days of the conflict, it would probably go down to a few dozen per day.”
He said that regional services believe “Israel’s military anticipates the government’s decisions. They are now engaged in estimating the potential damage inflicted by Hezbollah’s missiles on Israel’s home front. They realize that the first stage will be painful and bloody, but are convinced of being able to reduce Hezbollah’s ballistic abilities during the fighting.”
“The calls made by Lebanese leaders at the Arab League summit in Cairo yesterday, demanding that Hezbollah decommission, signals that they fear that the organization’s armament has gone too far,” he said. “They think Hezbollah is taking over their country, which would give Israel the pretext to attack the Lebanese state, not only Hezbollah’s infrastructure.”
He said that Israel is resolute that Hezbollah should be undermined. “That’s the premise all the intelligence services in the region depart from. We don’t know how operative the plans are, whether any war effort will seek to eradicate Hezbollah’s rocket stockpiles, weaken it militarily and diplomatically, or subdue it entirely. Each of these scenarios comes at a price, and the Israelis are now dealing with the price they can pay, and according to it they will decide on the nature of the military action.”
One unforeseen variable in this equation is the role played by the Syrian army, he added. “Will the Syrian army be dragged into the battle, or will the regime understand that the opportunity has arisen to get rid of Iranian influences. The Syrian regime is not sovereign, therefore the degree of its involvement remains to be seen, but neighboring countries hope that it will be the beginning of an end to Iran’s takeover of Syria and Lebanon.”
Earlier this month, Israeli jets reportedly struck a Hezbollah convoy of advanced weapons headed to the Syrian city of Palmyra.
Amid claims that Russia asked Israel to stop such strikes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified to reporters that Israel will continue to operate in Syria if the Israel Defense Forces deems it necessary.
The Jerusalem Post reported:
The agreement between Russia and Israel that allows the air force to execute defensive missions against targets in Syria has not changed, Netanyahu said. In such instances, he said, “We attack if we have information and the operational feasibility. This will continue.”
Last Sunday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Gadi Eisenkot warned the IDF would not hold back from striking Lebanese state institutions in a future conflict with Hezbollah. “The recent declarations from Beirut make it clear that in a future war, the targets will be clear: Lebanon and the organizations operating under its authority and its approval,” Eisenkot stated.