Hezbollah’s dangerous presence on Israel’s border is a major threat as it pushes towards the Golan Heights.
The Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah is participating in a military offensive with Syria’s Assad regime and Iran against moderate rebel groups in the south of Syria. If successful, Hezbollah will have extended its front for attacking Israel.
At present, 5,000 combatants, mostly from Hezbollah and the Syrian military, are making their way towards Quneitra and Daraa governorates, bordering the Golan Heights. They are assisted by the loyalist National Defense Force militia, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and Shi’ite paramilitary groups from Iraq. Their goal is to reclaim the last bit of Syrian territory still held by moderate rebel groups, such as the Southern Front and the Southern Command. Extremist groups have also made inroads in the south, with the Nusra Front reaching as far as the village of Beit Jin on the slopes of Mount Hermon.
Hezbollah to Israel: We Don’t Fear War
If this offensive is successful, Hezbollah will have extended its reach along the entirety of Israel’s northern border. Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has certainly not toned down his comments since the drone attack against his combatants in Quneitra. On January 30, following the request for de-escalation, he announced, “If the Israeli enemy believes that the resistance has been deterred, and that it fears war, let me say today, as we commemorate the Quneitra martyrs, and after the high-profile operation in the Shebaa Farms, that the enemy is hereby informed that we do not fear war, that we will not hesitate to wage this war if it is imposed upon us, and that we will prevail in it, Allah willing.”
Nasrallah threatened Israel again on Monday at an annual rally commemorating Israel’s assassinations of ex-Hezbollah chief Sayyed Abbas Musawi, commander Imad Mughniyeh and Sheikh Ragheb Harb. Nasrallah pronounced:
“The blood of the martyr Jihad has revived the memory of the commander Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and returned this brilliant and historic leader to the forefront of events once again, confirming that his presence is still strong in the minds of friends and in the mind of the enemy, which will always be haunted by Imad Mughniyeh’s blood.”
ISIS: Created by the Mossad, the CIA and MI5?
At the same rally, Nasrallah responded to the call on Saturday by former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri for Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria, saying, “To those who call for Hezbollah’s withdrawal from Syria, I invite you to come with us to Syria … and I invite you to come with us to Iraq” to combat ISIS and the Nusra Front. He claimed that ISIS was a creation of the Mossad, the CIA and British intelligence.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon confirmed to Ha’aretz in October that Israel is providing humanitarian assistance, including food and medical aid, to moderate rebels in the area “on condition they don’t allow the more extremist organizations to reach the border.” The Assad regime and its supporters have accused Israel of providing arms to these groups, as well.