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Cole writes: "Israel and Lebanon's Hizbullah, who fought a war in 2006, are increasingly being drawn into a proxy war in Lebanon."

Juan Cole; public intellectual, prominent blogger, essayist and professor of history. (photo: Informed Comment)
Juan Cole; public intellectual, prominent blogger, essayist and professor of history. (photo: Informed Comment)

Israeli, Hizbullah Proxy War in Syria

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

06 May 13


srael and Lebanon's Hizbullah, who fought a war in 2006, are increasingly being drawn into a proxy war in Lebanon. Hizbullah supports the Baath regime of Bashar al-Assad. The Israeli government, after a long period of neutrality, seems increasingly to have decided that the Baath must go. Israel on Sunday bombed what it said were trucks transporting missiles from Syria to Lebanon:

Meanwhile, Hizbullah stands accused of increasing its military support of the Syrian regime. It is not that the Israelis and Hizbullah are in any direct conflict, but they are gradually both becoming more active in Syria on opposite sides. It is an open question how long this process can continue before the conflict does become direct. Hizbullah fears that if it loses its Syrian land bridge with Iran, it will lose the possibility of rocket resupply. Then, its leaders fear, the Israelis will be able again to invade and annex southern Lebanon, stealing the land, water and resources of its Shiites. (Israel planned on doing to southern Lebanon what it has done to the West Bank, occupying it 1982-2000, but Hizbullah's resistance made that too costly.)

The USG Open Sourve Center translates from the London pan-Arab daily, Al-Sharq al-Awsat, for May 5:

As the shelling of the Jawbar, Barzah, and Al-Yarmuk Camp neighborhoods of Damascus resumed yesterday, a large part of the suspended bridge in Dayr-al-Zawr province, east of Syria, collapsed when an explosive device went off. Also, Al-Bayda in Rif Baniyas was the scene of fighting and tank shelling.

According to the Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC), the ongoing fighting in various Syrian provinces has continued, as two people were killed and several others were wounded by shells fired by Lebanese Hizballah fighters in the farm areas around Al-Qusayr, in Rif Homs. A The same SRGC sources also said the (regime's) warplanes carried out a number of raids on Al-Buwaydah al-Sharqiyah and Al-Salumiyah in the south of RifA Homs, setting fire to many farm areas.

Sham News network reported that the regime forces have used heavy artillery to shell a number of neighborhoods of Homs, including Bab-al-Durayb, Al-Qusur, and Al-Khalidiyah, killing or wounding a number of people and destroying a large part of the infrastructure as well as government offices.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed that Iranian officers and Hizballah elements, supported by elements of the so-called National Defense Forces, are involved in the control of a large part of the Wadi-al-Sayih neighborhood, which will "enable the regular army to isolate the besieged old neighborhoods of Homs from the besieged Al-Khalidiyah neighborhood."

SOHR Director Rami Abd-al-Rahman said, in a contact with Al-Sharq al-Awsat, "Iranian and Hizballah officers are running the operations room in the battle for Homs and are controlling the army operations in the city, particularly the street battles." He warned of "massacres against the Sunni community living in the besieged areas if the army captures these areas."A The SOHR believes that the aim of the current campaign is to tighten the siege around these areas and bring them under control before pointing out that "the lives of about 800 families, who have been under siege for nearly a year now, including the lives of hundreds of wounded people, will be at serious risk from sectarian revenge if these areas fall."

The SOHR described last month (April) as "the worst month, as far as death under torture and children's deaths are concerned." A In its monthly bulletin, the SOHR gave the death toll in Syria as "3,313 citizens shot dead by the regular forces, that is, an average of 138 people per day,A at the rate of six citizens per hour.A Moreover, 377 children were killed, that is 13 children per day; and 176 were killed under torture, at the rate of six people per day." your social media marketing partner


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+1 # Activista 2013-05-07 01:38
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR)- Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - Wikipedia, the free ...‎
The UK based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) is an information office opposed to the Assad-led Government of Syria...
Sorry Juan .. NOT Informed Comment, but war propaganda for Qatar, Saudi Arabia ..
Al-Sharq al-Awsa .. published under the name of a private company, the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, the paper was founded with the approval of the Saudi royal family and government ministers, and is noted for its support of the Saudi government.[2] The newspaper is owned by Faisal bin Salman, a member of the Saudi royal family.
What a combo ... of propaganda .. NOT information ... quite pathetic
0 # RMDC 2013-05-07 04:45
All of this war is part of the Israeli-US Neo-con plan for a new middle east, one completely dominated by the Israeli military. Back in 2007 when the violence was at its worst in Iraq, Condie Rice said "this is just the birth pains of the new middle east." Libya is going through its own birth pains. All of the arab world (except for the fundamentalist states like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain) will be destroyed and rebult on the Saudi model.

Lebanon, Syria, Iraq were all secular and modern states with mixed religious and ethnic populations. In Iraq all christians have left the country. The same will happen to Syria and Lebanon if the Israelis have their way.

Hezbollah are the good guys here. They have been the defenders of Lebanese sovereignty since terrible Israeli invasion of the 1980s. They have no aggressive intentions against Israel; to the contrary. They only want Israel to leave Lebanon alone.

It appears that Israel may be trying to get is war against Iran by going to war in Syria and Lebanon first. The Israelis lost the 2006 war in Lebanon and were forced out of the part of Lebanon it had been occupying since the 80s. It is likely Israel will lose again. But Netanyahoo does not care. He just wants to fight and kill. Obama could stop all of this if he was a decent human being. But he is not. He's a neo-con and only want to fight and kill.
+1 # mmeric 2013-05-07 09:15
Are you serious, RMDC? There is plenty of evidence that Hezbollah wants the destruction of the Jews and anyone else not Shia. Explain how they only want do defend Lebanon. I can believe that they want to protect Shiism from the pressure it's under from Sunni Islam, but you make some remarkable claims here. Do please explain.
-1 # Activista 2013-05-07 13:27
Quoting mmeric:
Are you serious, RMDC? There is plenty of evidence that Hezbollah wants the destruction of the Jews and anyone else not Shia. Explain how they only want do defend Lebanon. I can believe that they want to protect Shiism from the pressure it's under from Sunni Islam, but you make some remarkable claims here. Do please explain.

Please explain - document - where (not war propaganda Made in Israel) that Hezbollah wants the destruction of the Jews ...
And add a note about Israel BOMBING Syria and Israel OCCUPYING Golan Heights for almost 50 years. And 1400 killed in Gaza - mostly women and children like 5 years ago ...
+2 # RMDC 2013-05-07 16:57
I don't think there is any evidence that Hezbollah wants the destruction of jews or of Israel. Since its inception in the mid-1980s Hezbollah has only been a defensive force. Lebanon is a mixed religious nation --

25% Shia
25% Sunni
25% French Catholic
25% Greek, Armenian, etc, Catholic

These groups get along fine, except when the French, US, or Saudis stir up trouble.

Israel occupied Lebanon south of the Litani river from the 80s to 2007. Israel drained water from this river into Israel. Hezbollah pressured Israel to leave, trading missile attack for missile attack. Now Israel is out of Lebanon, but it still wants the water.

Israel is the only aggressor in the middle east. Only Israel calls its aggression and terrorism self-defense. We should be smart enough to see through that claim.
0 # mmeric 2013-05-08 12:01
Many entities in the region have specifically called for the destruction of Israel, RMDC. Only aggressor?? I disagree, but since Israel has no strategic depth, she can't wait around to see what her belicose, frustrated, breast-beating neighbors think.

Arab leaders stir up plenty of aggression against Israel and Jews on the "street" to keep trouble away from themselves and their midieval governance.

Further, there are conspiracy theories taught to school kids about Freemasonry, Jews and the Rotary Clubs,being in league in big conspiracy (For real???) They are also taught blantant anti-semitism (Israeli children are not taught to hate Arabs). Many many people pray for the destruction of Judaism. I choose to believe they mean it.

Is the West complete idiots in some of their policies and behavior? You bet. Do they mess up and cause trouble? Sure, that happens. Are they the real problem or the whole problem or even the bulk of the problem? No. Like ANY nation or people, those in that region need to take a good hard look in the mirror and resist the urge to blame others. Too many people in those lands want the benefits of Modernity and not what is obviously midieval bloodshed. That horse has left the barn, I'm afraid.
0 # Artemis 2013-05-07 05:20
Damn Netanyahu!
As if Israel has not caused enough destruction and havoc in the Middle East, they will now be murdering more innocent people while handing out the usual deceptive statements.
Syrians have enough suffering to bear without Israel, Hizballah and Iran. One of the most beautiful countries in the world is being destroyed and it is heartbreaking for its citizens.
0 # mmeric 2013-05-09 08:46
This is just a snip from Wikipedia. There is plenty more, there and elsewhere. Read below all four main points in its manifesto. So, unless you think Wikipedia is Israeli propaganda..... .
+6 # MidwestTom 2013-05-07 06:43
This is a civil war between Sunni and Shiites. We should stay out of it. we should sit down with Russia and agree that neither of us will ship one more weapon into this battle.
0 # Activista 2013-05-07 13:30
This is a war/invasion made in USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia.
Syria population supports the government - learned from Libya - most of the real killers there are NOT from Syria.
0 # Activista 2013-05-07 13:37
Rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad detained four U.N. peacekeepers on Tuesday in area that separates Syria and Israel, raising tension between the two countries just days after the Jewish state launched back-to-back airstrikes near Damascus ... would say that a tension was raised by Israel .. 2x bombing Damascus ..
+2 # jaybyrd33 2013-05-07 15:39
The US should negotiate with Hezbollah. Dine with the devil frrom thjeir view because they will have to. They reportedly have 50,000 missiles. Patriot missiles can not shoot all of them down.All sides need to negotiate. Sanctions against Iran have driven oil prices to 125$ a barrel The US can not afford a war against Iran but the oilmen and defense contractors would out jusy as they did in Iraq.
+1 # Edwina 2013-05-08 10:33
Yes, Cole's "evidence" does not support his thesis that Israel (or Hizbullah) is being "drawn in" to the Syrian civil war. Both are certainly affected, but Israel has been trying to dislodge Hizbullah from southern Lebanon for years, even when Hizbullah posed no military threat. We do not have the intelligence-ga thering capacity of our government, but looking at the history of the region, it seems that Israel is striking Syria while Syria is weakest. It is a shame that our government will support Israel no matter what it does, and even when we get no co-operation from Israel on settlement building or peace initiatives -- the things we SAY we want. We can only conclude that the U.S. and Israel agree on the goal of U.S./Israeli domination of the region.
-1 # mmeric 2013-05-08 11:41
RMDC and Activista:

This is just a snip from Wikipedia. There is plenty more, there and elsewhere. So, unless you think Wikipedia is Israeli propaganda..... .
0 # Activista 2013-05-08 13:54
sorry - still can not find "plenty of evidence that Hezbollah wants the destruction of the Jews and anyone else not Shia" can you quote and paste the source?
Do Israelis Teach Their Children To Hate?‎
Jun 19, 2012 – ... Israeli civics exam instructed Jewish girls not to 'hang around with Arabs' ... to take responsibility for the hate you are teaching your children.
Do Palestinians Teach Their Children to Hate? - If Americans Knew‎
Americans are often led to believe that Palestinian textbooks teach hatred and ..... Israel and the Jewish People on behalf of Islam, the Arabs and Palestine. 20 ...
and go to yahoo forum ... anti arab hate propaganda - who is driving it?

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