Crossfire War – Tehran – Beirut – Damascus Watch – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Damascus – Riyadh – Tripoli – Khartoum – Beirut/Jerusalem – Cairo – Paris – Rome; Hezbollah Attempting to Re-Establish Military Positions in Lebanon South of The Litani River – 20 Miles From Israel Border
Night Watch: LITANI RIVER – XINHUA reports Israel Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi briefed a Sunday cabinent meeting on Hezbollah’s attempt to re-establish its military positions south of the Litani river in Lebanon just 20 miles from the Israel border. “The organization is attempting to descend south of the Litani river to open areas. UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon) and the Lebanese Army are operating, but the smuggling of weapons from Syria to Lebanon continue, as there is no effective mechanism controlling the process along the very long border. If this situation continues, there will be no choice but to operate.” [XINHUA]
Tehran-Damascus never intended to give Jerusalem any choice but to attack and both Iran-Syria want the European forces in UNIFIL, which came out of the Rome Conference last summer, to be caught in the crossfire. Israel realized it made a mistake in allowing Tehran years to prepare Hezbollah’s positions, bunkers, underground tunnels and fortifications, before finally attacking. The heaviest fighting was the ground combat between Israel and the 20 miles to the Litani. What will force Israel to attack even more heavily is not only Hezbollah’s preparations but Damascus-Tehran entering the war. I suspect when Hezbollah-Damascus use their longer range Scud-Shahab missiles and hit Tel Aviv then Israel uses its nuclear arsenal.
Concerning the ongoing action in the Gaza, General Ashkenazi stated that since the official ceasefire was made with Hamas and other Palestinian units on November 26, Israel has encountered 250 “high-trajectory” fire, the description of mortar and rocket fire. Unofficially of course the ceasefire was really nothing more than a public relations move by Hamas and Islamic militants. Last summer’s war began in Gaza, late June, and could again this year very easily next month. Then Hezbollah attacks along Lebanon, unless Jerusalem strikes first and probably will. That would take the battlefield initiative away from Damascus-Tehran.