Hezb'allah Upgrades Missile Threat to Israel

As Obama bungles Syria, the seeds are being planted for a bloody and broad conflict on Israel's borders. Adam Entous, Charles Levinson and Julian E. Barnes of the Wall Street Journal have broken a story citing previously undisclosed US intelligence, outlining how Iran is helping Hezb'allah import strategic weapons systems into Lebanon, in no small part via Syria.

The weapons have the potential to be game changers with sweeping geopolitical, military, and diplomatic implications. The Iranians now find themselves in violation of yet another UNSC resolution, in this case 1747, which prohibits them from selling or transferring arms (meanwhile Tehran and Damascus, and who knows who else, are on the hook for violating UNSC 1701, which calls on states to prevent the movement of weapons into Lebanon). Many Lebanese, already angry that Hezbollah has imported the Syrian war into the country, will now have to contend with the probability that Hezbollah is using Lebanese soil to cross Israeli red lines.  The Israelis may become wary of putting their faith in international security assurances, including those that the US and EU may offer in the context of the peace process, when to the north Hezb'llah is moving strategic weapons under UNIFIL's nose.

And of course, any war that Hezbollah starts will now be bloodier. The group is thought to have several motives for wanting to battle the IDF in the nearterm, not least of all because a war with Israel might help it rebuild its shattered brand as an anti-Israel organization. To take just the obvious instance from the WSJ writeup -

The U.S. believes Hezbollah has smuggled at least some components from those systems into Lebanon within the past year, including supersonic Yakhont rockets, but that it doesn't yet have all the parts needed there. "To make it lethal, a system needs to be complete," said a senior defense official. Hezbollah already has around 100,000 rockets, according to Israeli intelligence estimates, but those are primarily unguided weapons that are less accurate. Its longer-range rockets are spread across Lebanon, meaning Israel's next air campaign-should one come-would have to be broad, Israeli officials have told their U.S. counterparts, according to American officials in the meetings.

At the start of the Syrian civil war, Israelis were hoping for an Assad victory (the enemy you know...).  But they didn't anticipate the years-long struggle that has helped boost iran's hegemony and destabilization of Jordan. More importantly, no one in the region (especially Israelis) realized the extent of Obama's passivity, abandonment of friends and reach out to enemies - let alone his lies.

Update: Ed Lasky urges us to remember that Hezb'allah has killed many Americans over the years -- the Marine Barracks bombing, for example, as well as murder of various American officials (CIA and otherwise in Lebanon); the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (Hezb'allah's backer) is also responsible for the deaths of many Americans in Iraq.

As Obama bungles Syria, the seeds are being planted for a bloody and broad conflict on Israel's borders. Adam Entous, Charles Levinson and Julian E. Barnes of the Wall Street Journal have broken a story citing previously undisclosed US intelligence, outlining how Iran is helping Hezb'allah import strategic weapons systems into Lebanon, in no small part via Syria.

The weapons have the potential to be game changers with sweeping geopolitical, military, and diplomatic implications. The Iranians now find themselves in violation of yet another UNSC resolution, in this case 1747, which prohibits them from selling or transferring arms (meanwhile Tehran and Damascus, and who knows who else, are on the hook for violating UNSC 1701, which calls on states to prevent the movement of weapons into Lebanon). Many Lebanese, already angry that Hezbollah has imported the Syrian war into the country, will now have to contend with the probability that Hezbollah is using Lebanese soil to cross Israeli red lines.  The Israelis may become wary of putting their faith in international security assurances, including those that the US and EU may offer in the context of the peace process, when to the north Hezb'llah is moving strategic weapons under UNIFIL's nose.

And of course, any war that Hezbollah starts will now be bloodier. The group is thought to have several motives for wanting to battle the IDF in the nearterm, not least of all because a war with Israel might help it rebuild its shattered brand as an anti-Israel organization. To take just the obvious instance from the WSJ writeup -

The U.S. believes Hezbollah has smuggled at least some components from those systems into Lebanon within the past year, including supersonic Yakhont rockets, but that it doesn't yet have all the parts needed there. "To make it lethal, a system needs to be complete," said a senior defense official. Hezbollah already has around 100,000 rockets, according to Israeli intelligence estimates, but those are primarily unguided weapons that are less accurate. Its longer-range rockets are spread across Lebanon, meaning Israel's next air campaign-should one come-would have to be broad, Israeli officials have told their U.S. counterparts, according to American officials in the meetings.

At the start of the Syrian civil war, Israelis were hoping for an Assad victory (the enemy you know...).  But they didn't anticipate the years-long struggle that has helped boost iran's hegemony and destabilization of Jordan. More importantly, no one in the region (especially Israelis) realized the extent of Obama's passivity, abandonment of friends and reach out to enemies - let alone his lies.

Update: Ed Lasky urges us to remember that Hezb'allah has killed many Americans over the years -- the Marine Barracks bombing, for example, as well as murder of various American officials (CIA and otherwise in Lebanon); the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (Hezb'allah's backer) is also responsible for the deaths of many Americans in Iraq.

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