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Yesterday Stand for Israel discussed the reported Israeli airstrikes in Syria – strikes that took out weapons bound for the terrorist group Hezbollah. Writing at Israel Hayom, Professor Eyal Zisser explains that Hezbollah, Iran, and what is left of Syria make up an axis of evil whose priority is the destruction of Israel:
There is little left of Syria as we knew it, with the exception of one thing — the strategic alliance between Damascus, Tehran and Hezbollah, which has only grown stronger over the past few years. The deeper Assad has become embroiled in the quagmire of civil war, the more dependent he has become on his Iranian ally and its proxy, Hezbollah.
It is doubtful that Assad could have survived this long without the financial aid Iran has afforded Syria, but the assistance lent to him by Hezbollah has also been crucial to his ability to maintain his grip on the regime. The thousands of Hezbollah fighters sent to battle the rebels may not have been able to defeat them, but it is Hezbollah’s hundreds of wounded and dead that have been keeping Assad in power.
Iran and Hezbollah have made it their mission to save Assad, because Syria is pivotal to the Shiite axis they seek to install between Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. Syria is Iran’s gateway to the Mediterranean, as well as a crucial supply route through which Iran continues to arm Hezbollah with tens of thousands of missiles.
Assad, for his part, feels obligated to do his Shiite allies’ bidding. After all, for years emissaries from Washington and Jerusalem whispered in his ear that he should sever his ties with the axis of evil, strike a peace deal with Israel and restore diplomatic relations with the U.S., but at the moment of truth, the U.S. became his adversary while Iran rallied to his side.
Syria’s alliance with Iran and Hezbollah is so strong that Assad has not thought twice…Read More » Comments (4) »
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday, reports came in of airstrikes within Syria. The Jerusalem Post reports that the strikes were allegedly carried out by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and targeted weapons caches of the terror group, Hezbollah:
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Syrian opposition sources told Arab media on Monday that the airstrikes near Damascus that were alleged to have been carried out by Israeli warplanes destroyed a storage facility housing anti-aircraft missiles as well as drones belonging to Hezbollah.
While the Lebanese Shi’ite group has yet to officially comment on the attack, Channel 2 is citing a report in the Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper Al-Akhbar which said that “the Israeli action was intended to preserve the rules of the game.”
The newspaper claimed that the IAF struck weapons caches “that belonged to Hezbollah.” These arms are considered to be “capable of tilting the strategic balance,” namely threaten Israel’s ability to act freely in the skies above Lebanon.
The IAF has struck Syria several times since the start of the three-year conflict, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that Israeli officials said were destined for their longtime foe Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon …
An IDF spokesman said he would not comment on “foreign reports.”
At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was following developments in the Middle East with great interest, because “a great deal is happening.”
“We will remain constantly with our hand on the pulse, and we will deal with these threats and challenges because they do not take a time-out,” Netanyahu said.
“We will deal with them with the same degree of responsibility that we have done up until now.”
Monday, December 8th, 2014 at 8:46 AM | Stand For Israel
Operation Protective Edge saw the IDF put a dent in Hamas’ terrorist capabilities. But Israel is all too aware that it has other enemies who wish to do her harm. One of these threats is the terrorist group Hezbollah, though The Washington Post’s Hugh Naylor reports that the Lebanese terror group is not as mighty as it once was:
Hezbollah has won grudging respect, even from some foes, for its tenacious guerrilla campaigns against Israel. But now Lebanon’s most powerful military organization is losing its aura of invincibility.
Tactics that the Shiite group has used against Israeli soldiers are being inflicted on its own forces by militants from the Islamic State and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, which have carved out footholds in Lebanon along the porous Syria border.
The growing number of attacks and kidnappings by the Sunni militants represent the opening of yet another military front for Hezbollah. It already has thousands of troops deployed in Syria to bolster President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, while still more are facing Israel in southern Lebanon.
“Hezbollah is spread thin. They are waging so many battles and are positioned on so many fronts,” said Imad Salamey, associate professor of political science at the Beirut-based Lebanese American University.
Classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union, Hezbollah was created in the turmoil following Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. The militant group forced Israel to end its occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000 and inflicted a heavy blow on Israel during a 34-day war in 2006. Hezbollah’s forces are better armed than Lebanon’s army, which plays a subordinate role.
Hezbollah also developed expansive charitable networks and a political movement that exerts considerable influence over the country’s parliament.
The group owes its power, in part, to an ample supply of weapons from the Iranian and Syrian governments, which form an anti-Western axis that allows Tehran to project influence to the Mediterranean and Israel’s borders. The weapons are largely funneled through Syria.
So when Assad’s forces started sustaining serious defeats…Read More » Comments (1) »
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at 3:14 PM | Stand For Israel
We’ve been keeping you updated on the recent rising hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah. Today, The Algemeiner reports that not only has the Lebanon-based terror group announced its intention to attack Israel, the IDF has fired on infiltrators on Israel’s northern border:
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As another shooting incident heated up Israel’s border with Lebanon on Monday, a Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper, al-Akhbar, has reported that the Shi’ite terror group has resolved to renew overt military operations against Israel.
According to initial reports, IDF soldiers from the Horev infantry battalion opened fire on what the Israeli 0404 news site referred to as “three suspicious figures” that had entered a “no-go” area adjacent to an army outpost at Har Dov, along the northern side of Mt. Hermon.
Troops reportedly opened fire in order to frighten off the intruders, when they spotted what they believed to be roadside explosive charges carried by the individuals. There was no report of injury to either side in the confrontation.
The trio fled back within Lebanese territory, and the army is searching the area, according to the report.
The incident comes in the wake of a series of hostile encounters between the IDF and Hezbollah in recent weeks …
Hezbollah is prepared to “storm the Zionist regime by its high-precision missiles,” Lt. General Hossein Salami of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ said.
“Today, all the residents in the occupied territories feel insecure and the security of the occupied territories is in an equation that on one side the powerful Hezbollah exists which is ready to storm the occupied territories and everyone knows the destruction power and preciseness of its weapons…”
Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 12:43 PM | Stand for Israel
Last week, a massive explosion occurred at Iran’s military base at Parchin – a facility also believed to be one of its illicit nuclear facilities. Much speculation has been made about why the explosion occurred. Writing at The Weekly Standard, Lee Smith says that Iran blames Israel – and its ally, the United States – and is using its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, to retaliate:
Experts continue to debate whether the explosion at an Iranian military base at Parchin earlier in the week was an act of sabotage.
The New York Times notes that the satellite images of the incident showed evidence “reminiscent of pictures of a missile-development site 30 miles west of Tehran that was virtually destroyed during a test in November 2011 that killed 17 people, including Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the leading force behind Iran’s advanced missile efforts.”
Nonetheless David Albright, head of the Institute for Science and International Security, told the Times that it “could have been an accident.” However, Hussain Abdul-Hussain, writing in the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Rai, reports that European diplomatic sources in Washington confirm that “the massive blast … was no accident, but a premeditated attack by a foreign country.”
Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 8:23 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday we reported on the explosion on the Lebanese border that wounded two IDF soldiers, an attack for which Hezbollah claimed responsibility. The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff discusses the terror group’s explanation for the attack, and says that while it may not lead to all-out war, it will likely lead to more bloodshed:
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The ring of explosives detonated alongside an IDF patrol on the border with Lebanon on Tuesday was another in a series of messages from Hezbollah to Israel. It was a brazen attack, carried out inside Israeli territory, the message being that, from now on, every incident in which Israel causes Lebanese injuries will be greeted with a response along the Lebanese or Syrian borders.
As opposed to other recent cross-border attacks, in which the perpetrators didn’t claim responsibility, the message this time was loud and clear: a full admission by Hezbollah. The claim of responsibility also gave a reason for the attack.“The Group of the Martyr Ali Hassan Haydar detonated an explosive device in the Shebaa Farms,” the Shiite group said in a statement, using the Lebanese name for the Mount Dov region, where the attack took place …
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 8:41 AM | Stand For Israel
This morning, Stand for Israel reported that an explosion on the Lebanese border wounded two IDF soldiers. Now, The Times of Israel says that the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has taken credit for the attack, and that Israel has responded with heavy fire:
Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah movement on Tuesday afternoon claimed a bomb attack against Israeli troops along the border that wounded two soldiers earlier in the day.
Hezbollah operatives “detonated an explosive device on the Shebaa hills against a motorized Israeli patrol causing a number of injuries among the occupation’s soldiers,” the group said in a statement.
The statement said that the bomb was planted in honor of Hussein Ali Haidar, a Hezbollah member who was killed in a September 5 explosion that Lebanese officials claimed was caused when Israel destroyed one of its own surveillance devices that had been uncovered inside Lebanon.
The explosion, in the contested Shebaa Farms area, also known as Har Dov, set off the second border clash in the area in three days.
The army said in a statement that the bomb was “activated against them during activity along the Israel-Lebanon border.”
“Initial reports indicate that the explosive device was planted with the intent to attack soldiers,” the statement read.
Israel responded by shelling an area next to Kfar Chouba, near the Shebaa Farms region. In all, the Israeli army reportedly fired dozens of shells into Lebanese territory.
One soldier was moderately wounded and the second lightly injured, the Ynet news outlet reported. Other Hebrew media reported that the two were lightly wounded.
Hours later, a second bomb went off along the border in the area, but did not cause any casualties.
We pray for the recovery of the IDF soldiers wounded in this attack, and for God’s protection on all the brave men and women protecting Israel from further attacks.Comments (7) »
Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 10:41 AM | Stand For Israel
While much of the world’s attention is on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, war will certainly come again to Israel. Ironically, one of Israel’s enemies is currently involved in the fight in Syria. Writing at The Jerusalem Post, Yaakov Lappin warns that Hezbollah is learning from its experiences in Syria – lessons that will be used in an upcoming war with Israel:
Although a war is unlikely at this time, the IDF is preparing to fight Hezbollah, which has developed new offensive cross-border capabilities alongside its massive arsenal of rockets and missiles, a senior military source said on Sunday.
Hezbollah plans to send dozens and perhaps hundreds of terrorists into Israel in any war, while targeting the home front with many projectiles, in a conflict that could last as long as four months, according to the officer.
The Shi’ite group’s focus will be to rain rockets and missiles down on Israel, but it also plans raids based on lessons it has learned from its intervention in the Syrian civil war. A preemptive Israeli ground offensive could prevent such raids, he said.
“Hezbollah’s confidence is growing, along with its combat experience in Syria,” the officer said. “The battlegrounds of Syria have enabled Hezbollah to upgrade its capabilities. Hezbollah plans to send many combatants into Israeli territory near the border and seize it.” This has prompted Israel to make “dramatic changes” to its border-defense plans, he added.
“We understood that Hezbollah is thinking offensively. It is gaining experience in Syria where it is initiating assaults in built-up areas, and attacking cities. It is learning about subterranean warfare from the perspective of the attacker … and [its officers are] learning more about themselves as the defenders in Lebanon… They are learning about controlling hundreds of fighters, coordinating intelligence, firepower, and command and control. This is a serious development that requires us to prepare accordingly,” the officer said.
In the event that Hezbollah tries to surprise the IDF by occupying part of Israel near the border, the…Read More » Comments (11) »
Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 8:38 AM | Stand for Israel
For years, Hezbollah has imported Iranian weapons across the Lebanese border with Syria. It is the main pipeline for the rearmament of the Iranian proxy that, before 9/11, had killed more Americans than any other terror organization.
The United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) — which has been “interim” since 1978 — was mandated in the cease-fire following the last Israeli-Lebanese conflict in 2006 to interdict arms shipments and prevent Hezbollah from resupplying. That effort (calling it an “effort” is extremely generous) has entirely failed. If the U.N. soldiers were to simply hand their own weapons over to Hezbollah, the resupply might go slower out of sheer lack of challenge. Instead, Hezbollah now has more and better rockets than they did before the 2006 war.
Israel has, out of international political necessity, tolerated this intolerable situation for years. One can stand on the Israeli side of the Lebanese border and, with binoculars, see the Hezbollah fortifications (openly flying the bright yellow Hezbollah flag) dug in directly in front of the UNIFIL positions on the other side of the border. To strike at Hezbollah is to risk hitting U.N. troops.
Prior to the Syrian civil war, the border with Lebanon and Iran’s ability to move within the country was at least theoretically limited by the Assad regime. Today, in the chaos of Assad’s fight to survive and the life-or-death struggle between Al-Qaeda-allied terrorists and the Iran/Hezbollah terror axis (if it were a soccer match, you’d root for the stadium to collapse), the border has become totally uncontrolled.
But, if the chaotic situation in Syria makes the border more porous, it also allows Israel to act with diminished potential for repercussions. Assad, Hezbollah, and Lebanon don’t have bandwidth to look cross-eyed at Israel right now. And that means that Israel can risk doing what they did earlier this week: take out a convoy that probably was shipping weapons.
But Israel can’t police a foreign border perfectly or permanently. And, with Iran developing more advanced…Read More » Comments (13) »
Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 at 8:22 AM | Stand For Israel
In light of the attack earlier this week by Israel against (probably) an arms shipment inside Lebanon, Hezbollah has some face to save. Avi Issacharoff writes that, because the Iranian client terror group that controls much of Lebanon isn’t in a position to get into a fight with Israel, they’ll save face by pretending that nothing or not much happened:
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This is how Hezbollah’s media operates. The late hour of the incident and its location, in a mountainous area right on the border, gave Hezbollah room to smudge the details of what exactly happened, and avoid the question many people are asking today in Lebanon: Did the missiles strike a target inside Lebanon or not?
Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 at 8:13 AM | Stand For Israel