Tag Archives: hezbollah

#Madaya: #Hezbollah and #Syria regime’s darkest hour

13 Jan

The Syrian regime, together with Hezbollah have been laying a siege against the Syrian town of Madaya. Their goal: to starve the citizens of Madaya which has been under rebel control into surrender. The pictures from of starving people in Madaya are horrendous. 32 people have reportedly died from starvation there. Some starving people have been forced to eat their own pets and grass.

Meanwhile, to pressure the starving people of Madaya even more, some Assad supporters were taunting them on line with pictures of food.

Finally, after a massive social media campaign and pressure from the international community, food convoys have been allowed through by the Assad regime and Hezbollah.  UN war crimes investigators are now gathering testimony from the citizens of Madaya. Using food as a weapon is a war crime, no matter who does it, the Syrian regime and its allies or the rebels.

This is by far the darkest hour of the Hezbollah movement which claims to be the defender of Arabs. And this is why the standing of Hezbollah and Iran has been falling among many Palestinians to new lows.

The report below by Al Jazeera describes the situation in Maya after the aid convoys arrived.

For viewers in the US who can not access the report below, this link is recommended.

Reported #Israel attack against #Hezbollah: why now?

18 Jan

Leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah. Source

According to the Lebanon based Daily Star newspaper, today, an Israeli attack against a number of vehicles on the Syrian side of the Golan heights killed 9 people. Among them were senior members of Hezbollah and an Iranian field commander.

Why would Israel undertake such an operation? And why now?

There are a number of possibilities:

1 – It appears that in his recent interview on the 15th of January, Hezbollah Chief Nasrallah set a red line for Israel. He stated:

“The repeated bombings that struck several targets in Syria are a major violation, and we consider that any strike against Syria is a strike against the whole of the resistance axis, not just against Syria,” he told the Beirut-based Arab news television.

The “axis of resistance” which he mentioned is made up of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

In other words, any attack against Syria will now be considered as an attack against Hezbollah and Iran, as well as Syria.

This declaration would be considered as a new red line, for Israel.

When it comes to Syria, Israeli security officials seem to have an allergic reaction to red lines being drawn for Israel.

For example, at the end of January 2013, Iran drew a red line for Israel around Syria. According to foreign reports, it took Israel only a couple of days to cross that line.

2 – We are getting close to elections in Israel. There is the possibility that Netanyahu may lose. At the beginning a Likud lead government headed by Netanyahu looked certain. By as time has passed, Netanyahu’s challenger Isaac Herzog from the Labour party has started to catch up.

So a war just before elections may boost Netanyahu’s chances. And lets face it, it would not be the first time that a war was started just before elections here in Israel. And Netanyahu would not be the first Israeli leader to do this.

3- In his interview with i24 news tonight, Amir Oren of Haaretz newspaper stated that we are getting close to the anniversary of the assassination of former Hezbollah commander Imad Mighniye who was killed on the 12 of February 2008. Hezbollah may have been planning to retaliate, and Israel may have decided to take the initiative.

4 – Perhaps Hezbollah was planning to place some of its Iran made Fatah 110 missiles and its other new missiles which Nasrallah bragged about in his recent interview on Israel’s border with the Syrian side of the Golan heights.

These are all possibilities. Lets not jump to conclusions. We just finished a war in Gaza based on the assumption of some people in Israel that the Hamas central command in Gaza had ordered the kidnapping and killing of 3 Israeli teenagers. It turns out that it had not.

As an #Iran vs #Israel arena, #Gaza is losing its importance

1 Sep

Numerous things were learned from the recent Israel – Hamas war in Gaza.

One of them was that when it comes to being an arena where Iran and Israel faced each other off, Gaza is losing its importance.

Hamas has got a new Qatari patron and its not clear whether Iran will be able to woo it back.

My latest article explains.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/08/iran-qatar-israel-hamas-gaza.html

$3 billion to shoot at a Syrian plane?

30 Dec

According to a report released by the Associated Press today

Lebanese forces fired on Syrian aircraft that violated the country’s airspace on Monday, the first time they have done so since Syria’s uprising broke out three years ago, said security officials.

Note the words “first time”.

Meanwhile according to a report published yesterday:

Saudi Arabia has pledged to give the Lebanese army $3 billion in aid, Lebanon’s President Michel Sleiman has announced. The aid pledge comes amid mounting sectarian tensions in Lebanon linked to the Syrian conflict.

That didn’t take long, did it? Within the space of one day the Lebanese army is already showing the Saudis that its worth every penny of their money.

The question is: will the Lebanese army be willing to take on Hezbollah on Saudi Arabia’s behalf?

In my opinion, its very unlikely that we will be seeing the Lebanese army firing the opening salvo against Hezbollah.

This is more about creating deterrence.  Deterring Hezbollah from increased military activity inside Lebanon.

The $3 billion question is whether it will work? I am not so sure. But we shall find out very soon.

Meanwhile Syrian civilians are freezing in horrible conditions in refugee camps in Jordan. The Saudis or the Iranian regime paying $3 billion to help them? Not a bit of it.

Nasrallah could be regretting his military support for Assad

19 Nov

If Assad goes, so does Nasrallah’s biggest weapon route from Iran, as well as a loyal ally. Therefore Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah does have some genuine geopolitical reasons for wanting Assad to stay.

But Nasrallah should have supported Assad with more discretion. When Assad is killing Sunni civilians en mass in Syria, sometimes even gassing them, Nasrallah standing politically by Assad’s side and declaring public support for him is only going to create more intense animosity towards Hezbollah in the Sunni world. And Al Qaeda and its Saudi sponsors are bound to take advantage from this opportunity for they have been waiting for many years to settle scores with Hezbollah. An example of this was witnessed today when Al Qaeda affiliated groups attacked Iran’s embassy which is situated in a Hezbollah stronghold.

If Nasrallah had no choice in the matter, which is also possible, then this only reinforces the belief that he is the Iranian regime’s puppet in Lebanon. Nasrallah should not have allowed Khamenei to have such a strong hold on him.

It would not be the first time Nasrallah has made a major mistake.

In 2006 he made the mistake of starting a war against Israel by crossing inside Israel’s border and killing two of its soldiers and then kidnapping their bodies. After the war, which cost Lebanon’s economy billions of dollars Nasrallah publicly regretted his decision.

Although not publicly, perhaps privately he is regretting Hezbollah’s support for Assad as well, or for having to listen to his Iranian commanders telling him to support Assad.

In Tehran and Jerusalem, Obama will be seen as weak

31 Aug

Obama is doing right thing to seek Congressional approval, as far his own domestic concerns and considerations are concerned.

Nevertheless, in Israel and Iran governments will see this as a sign of weakness.

However in the long run, Obama’s latest move is likely to be bad news for Iran.

Why?

First and foremost, this does not mean that he will not be attacking Assad.

More importantly, by turning this into a congressional debate, from now until the debate, the people of America are going to be bombarded with information about the atrocities committed in Syria and how Iran is backing them.

And worst still, how a nuclear armed Iran will be even worst for the region than originally thought.

The main reason being recent threats by senior Iranian defense officials.

First was the chief of the Revolutionary Guards who declared “Syria war to cause Israel destruction“.

This was followed by a statement today made by Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces General Hassan Firouzabadi who said that “US Possible Attack on Syria to Set West, Israel Ablaze“.

Then to make sure he does not fall behind, General Naghdi the head of the Basij also stated today that “an attack against Syria will make the liberation of Palestine easier“.

Could you imagine such statements coming from a nuclear armed Iran? At minimum, they would compel Israel to put its reported nuclear arsenal on standby. And from then on all sorts of very bad things could happen.

So all is not lost. Assad is not going anywhere, nor are his allies in Tehran who keep convincing the world why this regime should not have nuclear weapons, better than anyone else.

Hezbollah accuses Hamas of terrorism

23 Aug

Never a dull moment in this region.

Hezbollah is accusing Hamas for taking part in the recent bombing in southern Beirut where many Hezbollah members live.

My latest piece discusses this.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/08/hezbollah-hamas-setback-bombings.html