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Intel Brief an update on Hezbollah's Rising Influence in the Middle East

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

Date: 17/08/2023


Parties involved:


Hezbollah, Iran’s IRGC (Islamic

Republican Guard Corps), Syria’s

president al-Assad, the IDF (Israeli

Defense Forces), Lebanese

government.






Recap:

  • The terrorist organization Hezbollah has been provoking Israel by crossing the border between Lebanon and Israel and setting up tents in Israeli-held territory. Hezbollah leader Nasrallah called on his followers to prepare for war with Israel.


  • Hezbollah’s influence in Lebanon has been waning and therefore it seeks to deflect from its internal problems by picking a fight with Israel.


  • Iran has upped its deliveries of money and weapons to Hezbollah increasing its capabilities to strike deep in the heart of Israel.


  • Israel has not taken physical action against Hezbollah or Lebanon.


What has happened since 14/07/2023?


  • On 07/08/2023 the IDF arrested several Palestinian terrorists connected to a training facility in Lebanon.

  • Israeli Defense Minister Gallant spoke to the press on 07/08/2023 and threatened to “return Lebanon to the stone age” if Hezbollah attacked Israel. This marked a change in tactics for Israel by putting Lebanon on equal footing with Hezbollah.


  • On 09/08/2023 a Hezbollah truck filled either with weapons, drugs or other illicit material turned over in an accident south of Beirut in a Christian neighborhood. When locals decided to mob the truck(driver), Hezbollah militants opened fire on the crowd killing at least two people.


  • On 10/08/2023 an unknown gunman opened fire on the car carrying the Lebanese defense minister south of Beirut. No one was hurt in the attack.


  • On 11/08/2023 Hezbollah decided to take one of the two tents down that had been set up in the north of Israel. Hezbollah gave a new warning that Israel risks open warfare if it destroys the remaining tent.


  • A Hezbollah operative threw a molotov-cocktail at Israeli assets on the border in the north of Israel on 13/08/2023. The IDF did not open fire on the operative but know who the man is.


Conclusion:


The tensions between Israel and Hezbollah have not gone down the last month. In a new change of events Israel has now put Lebanon and Hezbollah on equal footing and has threatened to attack Lebanon if Hezbollah attacks Israel. This could lead to a much larger confrontation than if Israel would only focus on Hezbollah as an enemy. This move makes the Lebanese government responsible for the actions of Hezbollah, but without a proper government it is not likely that Hezbollah can be fully curtailed.


Iran, through the actions of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Brigade, has and will deliver more weapons and training to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria. This will make a confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah significantly more large scale than previous confrontations.


With the Lebanese economic and political system in turmoil it is hard to guess where the Lebanese army will stand if a confrontation between Hezbollah and Israel erupts. But if Israel decides that the entire infrastructure of Lebanon is a legitimate target, the Lebanese army will be forced to join in battle.


The coming weeks will see a rise in tension in the region, especially with Iran and the US bolstering up troops in the region and with Israel and Iran getting into more aggressive verbal confrontations about Iran’s nuclear programme.


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