Tensions between Israel and Iran’s Lebanese agent, Hezbollah, have reached the point where war might result well. No one wants this, at least not right now, but it could still happen, either as a result of miscalculations and or of a rapid escalation that goes out of control. The two sides challenged each other in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s, and their 34-day war in the summer of 2006 which ended for a tie. According to the IDF’s report of 2018, the next time Israel and Hezbollah go to war, the IDF will be ready to strike the group hard in order to achieve victory on them.
This will not be easy. Hezbollah doesn’t have a clear centre of gravity which can be wiped out and thereby bring Israel will get a quick and clear victory. The organization also enjoys vast support from the Shiite community in Lebanon. The IDF has many hi-tech weapons and more powerful army than Hezbollah—but Hezbollah has up to 150,000 missiles which are aiming Israel. Major parts of Israel is within Hezbollah’s missile range, but it would primarily target the north part of the country. The quantity of rockets available to Hezbollah defines that Israel’s defence systems such as the Iron Dome will only be able to stop few of them. The only way to completely stop the missiles and rockets would be to run a large-scale offensive inside Lebanon. The IDF has been training to launch thousands of charge aiming to destroy the Hezbollah targets, especially the rockets. But the IDF will not be able to accomplish this mission by itself, especially when the rockets hit their airfields. Israel might not have the second choice but to conduct a major ground offensive.
Ever since the 2006 war, Israel chooses to contain Hezbollah rather than fight it directly. So determined was Israel to avoid going to war with the terrorist group that they ignored its significant military buildup. Since 2012, however, the IAF has carried out hundreds of sorties inside Syria aiming to stop the delivery of hi-tech weapons to Hezbollah. Israel can continue to delay the arming of Hezbollah, but it’s already become powerful, and war could happen even if none of them wants to.
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