Resistance Expected to Act Differently Now

Monday, May 16, 2016

Hezbollah Will Give Crushing Response

Mohammad Ali Mohtadi
University Professor & Senior Middle East Analyst

Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement has started investigations into the recent death of its top military commander Mustafa Badreddin, known by his nickname “Zulfiqar.” The assassination of Seyyed Mustafa Badreddin at a safe house near Syria’s Damascus airport was the result of an explosion. Therefore, investigations into factors and tools used for this assassination are underway. Different theories and questions have been raised in this regard, including: has there been a bomb? Has the explosion been caused by a surface to surface or an air to surface missile? Has the missile, if it was a missile, been fired by a plane? What kind of explosion has it been? And there are also many similar questions to be answered in this regard. Therefore, extensive investigations will be needed to shed light on this issue and clarify main factors and causes of this incident.

The important point is that four major military commanders of Hezbollah have been so far killed in Syria. The first was the late Imad Moughniyah, the senior Hezbollah commander, who was killed in an assassination attempt in Damascus’ Kfar Souseh neighborhood in an explosion targeting his car. The second assassination was aimed at Samir Kuntar who was killed on the suburbs of Damascus, with the third loss being Imad Moughniyah’s son, Jihad Moughniyah. Finally, the fourth incident was the assassination of Seyyed Mustafa Badreddin. All of these commanders were killed under similar circumstances. Therefore, the question is how the enemy, or anybody else doing this, has been able to carry out such successful attempts on their lives? Although Israel is usually behind such operations, without a doubt, there has been an intelligence network, which has monitored all movements of these commanders from their places of residence in addition to other information, and has used that information in order to carry out a successful assassination.

The first point is that Hezbollah runs a very powerful intelligence apparatus in Lebanon and it has bewildered Israel's intelligence services on many occasions. In Syria, however, developments are taking place, which result in such assassinations. The question is what source feeds this intelligence network and what services are part of this network? These are complicated issues, which must be taken into account.

The second point is that following Russia's military intervention in Syria, Moscow embarked on deploying S-400 missile defense system in Syria. Therefore, if any aircraft enters Syria’s airspace and fires a rocket, this system will be able to destroy that rocket automatically. However, it seems that this system has not operated in this case. One possibility is that the assassination operation has taken place by firing a long-range missile, for example from a warship stationed in the Mediterranean, which has been then guided by satellite until it hit the target. These issues must all be investigated. At the same time, if there is a security breach, it must be dealt with, so that such incidents will not take place in the future.

Israel has constantly announced that Hezbollah is the greatest risk that threatens it. Therefore, it has always tried to eliminate senior Hezbollah commanders through terrorist operations. Although military commanders have not been the sole targets of Israel's assassination attempts, most such attempts have been aimed at the group’s military commanders. In view of the ongoing developments in the region and the crisis in Syria, Israel's goal is to deal blows to Hezbollah and strip the resistance axis of its strategic depth, especially in Syria.

Therefore, it would be natural for Israel to have a hand in this incident. Of course, I personally believe that the latest operation in Syria has been guided by two separate military command rooms, one in Turkey and the other one in Jordan. These command rooms are run by American, Israeli, Jordanian, Saudi, Qatari and Turkish officers and enjoy extensive intelligence, security and military facilities to implement such assassinations. This issue will further complicate the whole case and calls for vast facilities to be provided in order to counter efforts made by the aforesaid intelligence services.

Now, the question is will Hezbollah give an answer to this operation? And how? After Israel assassinated Imad Moughniyah in a past operation, Hezbollah announced that it would avenge him. Of course, the operation carried out by Hezbollah in response to Israel was not very extensive and Israeli sources did not make any reference to Hezbollah’s response. However, now after four successful assassinations by the enemy on the Syrian soil, the general expectation is that Hezbollah will not dawdle anymore. But nobody knows how Hezbollah will answer and a final decision on this matter is only in the hands of senior Hezbollah officials, especially its leader, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah. Therefore, anything that is being said in this regard right now is limited to conjectures and speculations.

On the other hand, such conjectures and speculations are based on the premise that Hezbollah’s response will not be such that it would trigger a new war in the region. At the same time, Takfiri terrorist groups are conducting widespread operations against the resistance in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. Therefore, we must expect a new behavior on the part of the resistance movement in the future. Up to the present time, the resistance has sufficed to defending itself, but from now on, it may embark on new measures and this may lead to expansion of conflicts in the region. We must wait and see what positions will be taken in the coming weeks. Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah is expected to make a public speech on Friday, May 20, and most probably, he will explain Hezbollah’s position on the future course of developments in the region through that speech.

Key WordsLebanon, Hezbollah, Crushing Response, Resistance Movement, Seyyed Mustafa Badreddin, Zulfiqar, Assassination, Intelligence Apparatus, Russia, Military Intervention, Syria, US, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Imad Moughniyah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, Takfiri Terrorist Groups, Mohtadi

Source: Iranian Diplomacy (IRD)
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

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*Photo Credit: The Financial Times

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