FOr in the last four years, the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has fought a war in Syria, supported Iraqi forces and staged the politics of their homeland, all while trying to avoid facing Israel. Yet its weary leaders fear that the final gasps of Donald Trump’s presidency may lead to threats that have been imposed on everyone else.
In the organization’s heart area, Hezbollah members are watching the clock – and the sky. Israeli jets have been heading upstream for more than a month, and the frequency of flights has steadily increased for the past few weeks, as has security in the southern suburbs of Beirut, the nerve center of the region’s most powerful terrorist group .
Leaders and senior members fear that Trump, his outgoing secretary of state, Mike Pompeo and Israel, who use the weeks before the inauguration to take decisive action against Iran and Hezbollah, before adopting the widely anticipated soft stance of the new president Intend to
“They’ve got their window and they want to start what they started, a mid-ranking Hezbollah group.” “But don’t worry, Syed [the group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah] Is safe. “
Interviews with two middle-ranking Hezbollah members and an arbitrator familiar with the thinking of the group’s most senior leaders have revealed a picture of an organization stipulating that Israel will not clash with or defend Iran Would clearly be seen as acting. All three sources said they believed the incoming US administration would attempt to negotiate a nuclear deal with Tehran, which was inked by Barack Obama and canceled by Trump and now renewed in another avatar can be done.
One of Hezbollah members said, “This means that the sanctions are relieved, and it means that the pressure will finally be on us.” He said, ‘They are trying to harm Iran. This will not work as everyone sees this plan since summer. And we all have the means to escape their pressure. “
Israeli attacks on Iranian targets inside Syria are a near-term event since early 2017, and members of Hezbollah, who have been involved in a heavy blow to the Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, have occasionally been killed in airstrikes, though Its senior members are not targeted recently. The assassination of Iran’s chief nuclear scientist, Mohsin Fakhrizade outside Tehran on 27 November, certainly by Israel, has provoked a threat in Beirut that the distinction made so far between Iran and Hezbollah could change in the next month and a half.
A senior person described the coming weeks as “the most dangerous period for the past 30 years”. Everyone is worried, and with good reason. “
So far, Israel has indicated that its arch-enemy rank is not its main target in Syria and has repeatedly fired warning shots at targets it targets to engage Hizbollah members, to avoid killing them. One such attack, in April, involved a missile landing near a jeep across the border from Syria to Lebanon. When four Hezbollah members fled leaving the vehicle, a second missile destroyed it.
Israeli leaders have overwhelmingly supported the US policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran and the cancellation of the nuclear deal, and both see it as major opportunities to reduce Hezbollah, which it sees as a powerful and growing threat Sees, erupted due to chaos in Iraq and Syria. .
The alignment of Israel’s interests with the Gulf worldview over Saudi Arabia and Iran has been chosen by Trump officials as a major reason for normalization deals with the UAE and Bahrain and warming relations with Riyadh.
Israeli leaders believe their counterparts in the Gulf have hostile ties, like Hezbollah and Iran, and are not prepared to bail out Lebanon from its catastrophic economic collapse, as long as the group maintains its hold over the country’s politics .
“It doesn’t matter at all what the Saudis say,” another Hezbollah member said. “The party can take care of itself. They should understand that if the country falls, who will emerge the strongest? It will not be the parties they support.
“But will they try to do something big in Beirut in the coming weeks?” It is possible and it is true that there are security alerts in Dahih and south. It is all about protecting our leaders. We have nothing specific. But there is something in the atmosphere.
The security area of Hezbollah stronghold has been fitted with a steel barrier, which allows cars to pass. Security members were standing on the streets watching the flow of traffic under the surveillance of large cameras which maintain a mutual view of Dahiyah.
The banners of Iranian General Kasem Suleimani, who was assassinated in Baghdad on January 3 in a US drone attack, are placed near squares and hung from shopkeepers throughout Dahih, and pictures of Nasrallah are also prominent. Low-figure dog posters are also common in casualties in Syria and Iraq, and in conflicts with Israel before that.
“We are not afraid of death, as you know,” said another Hezbollah member. “But we must protect our leaders and we know that if anything happens to them we will be politically damaged. These are dangerous times. Trump is insane, but he won’t get what he wants. He does not have patience and does not have time. The Israelis feel that they are coming for us. We are coming for them.