Sunday, January 18, 2015

  • Sunday, January 18, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last Thursday:
Hezbollah is prepared for military intervention in Israel's Galilee and beyond, deeper into Israeli territory, the group's leader Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview with Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen TV to be aired Thursday evening.

"We have made all necessary preparations for a future war with Israel," Nasrallah said.

He vowed that the group would not stay quiet in the face of attacks attributed to Israel in Syria. "We will provide an answer for every attack against Syria," he said.

"We have military abilities that will deliver us the victory against Israel," Nasrallah threatened. "The military capability of the resistance has not been damaged, and if Israel thinks differently, it is wrong."

In excerpts of the interview that were previously released on Wednesday, Nasrallah said that Hezbollah has more types of weapons than Israel can imagine.
Even though he heads an Iranian proxy militia and a master terrorist, Nasrallah usually doesn't lie.

Apparently, his people were caught doing something today, and it seems Israel didn't like what it saw:
Several Hizbullah fighters were killed Sunday in an Israeli airstrike on the Quneitra region in the Syrian sector of the Golan Heights.

“The Israeli enemy's helicopters fired missiles at a group of Hizbullah's fighters who were inspecting the town of Mazraat al-Amal in the Syrian Quneitra region,” Hizbullah's media department announced in a statement.

The strike “resulted in the martyrdom of a number of jihadist brothers, whose names will be announced later, after informing their honorable families,” the party added.

A source close to Hizbullah told Agence France-Presse that the strike killed a military commander of the Lebanese group and five fighters.

The dead included Mohammed Issa, a Hizbullah commander responsible for its Syrian and Iraqi operations, as well as Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Imad Mughniyeh, a top Hizbullah operative killed in a 2008 car bombing in Syria which was blamed on Israel, the source told AFP.

Lebanese and Arab media outlets identified the other four Hizbullah members killed in the raid as Mahdi al-Moussawi, Ali Fouad, Hussein Hassan and Abbas Hijazi.

Al-Arabiya TV meanwhile said that “a prominent Hizbullah leader and 6 Iranians were killed in the Israeli airstrike on Golan.”

Al-Jadeed television for its part said "Iranian commander Abu Ali al-Tabtabani was among the martyrs of the Israeli raid on Golan."

Earlier on Sunday, an Israeli security source said an Israeli helicopter carried out a strike against "terrorists" in the Syrian sector of the Golan Heights.

The source told AFP that the militants were preparing an attack on Israel and that the airstrike took place near Quneitra, close to the ceasefire line separating the Syrian part of the Golan Heights from the Israeli-occupied sector, confirming a report by Hizbullah's al-Manar television.
Quneitra is right on the border with the Israeli Golan Heights. The senior Hezbollah commanders were not there for sightseeing.

Hezbollah - or possibly Iran - seems to have been itching for an excuse to engage Israel militarily, based on Nasrallah's statements last week and the ones that he seems to be preparing for tonight.

Naharnet has a bulletin:
Information obtained by MTV: Nasrallah will tonight deliver a speech in which he will announce that Hizbullah will retaliate against Israel with a painful strike.
Hezbollah rockets are said to be able to reach all of Israel now.

Last week, former national security adviser Maj.- Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror said
Hezbollah most closely resembles an army, and its arsenal totals some 150,000 missiles and rockets, several thousand of which can target any area in Israel.

“This rare and substantial firepower apparently even exceeded the firepower possessed by most of the European states combined,” Amidror said in the report.

Additionally, Hezbollah is armed with surface-to-sea missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, drones and modern anti-tank missiles.
In what may or may not be a coincidence, Iran's Supreme Leader threatened the West today as well on Twitter - about low oil prices:

If Iran is worried about its economy, that means Hezbollah's budget has been hit hard as well. War can be a Shiite Hail Mary to try to gather Muslim sympathy and cash. 

At this point, though, I think that most Arab countries quietly prefer Israel to Iran.

Incidentally, in the BBC report on the airstrike, they put in a short backgrounder on Hezbollah:
Who are Hezbollah?
• Name means "Party of God"

• Political and military organisation made up mainly of Shia Muslims

• One of the biggest blocs in Lebanon's governing coalition

• Strongly backed by Iran, a close ally of Syrian President Assad

• Mr Assad's minority Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shia Islam
Nothing about its raison d'etre of destroying Israel, nothing about its history of attacks against not only Israel but also US troops, nothing about it being considered a terror group. It's just a political group that happens to exist, somehow, in a country that doesn't want it.

(h/t Noam)

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