“In 2006, Hezbollah fought a guerrilla war. Today, Hezbollah is like a conventional army.”
Ten years after Israel and Hezbollah fought a bloody but inconclusive 34-day war in July and August of 2006, there are 7,000 Hezbollah fighters in Syria, a regional military power trained by Iranian commanders, funded by the Shiite Republic to learn the most sophisticated armaments available, such as 4th gen Kornet guided anti-tank missiles. They pilot unmanned aircraft and fight alongside artillery and tanks. They have taken rebel-held villages with Russian air support.
- Ten years ago, Hezbollah fired 4,000 short-range crude rockets. Today, the group has 100,000 rockets, including thousands of more accurate mid-range weapons with larger warheads capable of striking anywhere in Israel. The challenges posed by Hamas are almost trivial by comparison.
- Israel fought the first Lebanon war in 1982 against the PLO, a conflict that saw Israel occupy southern Lebanon and lay siege to Beirut. Hezbollah arose during that war. The second Lebanon war came as a surprise for both sides. Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers at the border, which sparked a sustained aerial and ground war by Israeli forces — and tough resistance by Hezbollah — it had stood toe-to-toe with them.
- Hezbollah has then spent the past decade transforming hundreds of villages in southern Lebanon into covert fire bases with hidden launch pads, many rigged to operate by remote.
The next war will be a terrible war. In the event of war Hezbollah would try to inflict heavy damage on Israeli cities, power plants and airports to degrade national morale. And one cannot allow Israeli cities to face 1,000 Hezbollah rockets a day.
Hope these serve as a dual deterrent.