As the region braces for the consequences of major US airstrikes on ‘Iranian proxies’ in Iraq and Syria, Israel’s defense minister has issued an alert saying Israeli troops will “very soon go into action” near the country’s northern border with Lebanon.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued the words Monday at a time of daily tit-for-tat cross-border fire with Hezbollah. The conflict has thus far been seen as “contained” – yet things across the broader region are looking anything but contained. Gallant said, “They will very soon go into action… so the forces in the north are reinforced.”
He added that reservists need to “prepare and come ready” for future operations in the north when called upon. Israel’s military struck several Hezbollah positions on Monday.
“The targets included Hezbollah’s infrastructure and an observation post located in the southern Lebanese areas of Markaba, Taybeh, and Maroun Al-Ras,” the IDF said.
This was in response to at least a dozen earlier attacks by Hezbollah the same day, which reportedly included use of Iranian-made Falaq-1 and Burkan missiles.
Days ago, ABC News quoted an Israeli government official who predicted:
Israel is “closer to war” with Hezbollah and a possible regional war than ever, a senior Israeli official said.
Gallant had previously estimated that as a result of Hezbollah rockets which started soon after Oct.7, over 80,000 Israeli citizens are still displaced from their homes, after border regions had to be evacuated en masse.
Incoming missile and drone alerts have also become commonplace across communities in the north. Some Israeli officials have wanted a more hawkish response in order to eventually allow these citizens to safely return to their homes in the north.
⚡️Hezb-Allah has just released a video titled:
“I am the soldier of Radwan” pic.twitter.com/zLVxk2pCs3
— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) January 30, 2024
Over a month ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned, “If Hezbollah decides to open an all-out war, then with its own hands it will turn Beirut and southern Lebanon, which are not far from here, into Gaza and Khan Younis.”
The consensus among regional analysts is that Hezbollah is far superior to Hamas’ capability in terms of numbers of fighters, missiles, and weaponry such as laser-guided anti-tank missiles. An all-out war scenario would be severe, but likely Lebanon would be devastated and come under Israeli bombs. For now it seems, neither side wants this worst-case scenario.
Tue, 01/30/2024 – 21:45