Hezbollah says 'new phase' in war with Israel after strikes

Satellite Footage Shows Israel Struck Military Site at Damascus Airport			Supplied		by Breitbart Jerusalem14 May 20180		14 May 2018		14 May 2018

The new developments are subject to the ongoing United States position regarding Tehran, which could change if the Iranian government offered concessions to the Americans. These amendments include prohibiting Iran from ever transforming its nuclear program into a military program and withdrawing its forces and militias from the wars outside Iran.

When sanctions are activated and the pressure on Iran increases, Israel will have a new regional role it has never previously played.

Israel has not had any formal diplomatic relations with Gulf Arab states since the country's formation in 1948, which resulted in the mass displacement of Palestinians and a series of wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors. But it is now likely to take on a new role - that of a police force that monitors and holds Iran accountable. Yet the issue of Iranian territorial presence in Syria is an issue which needs to be seriously discussed in the near future between Russian Federation an Israel. Israel won't tolerate a buildup of Iranian forces along its borders in Syria as Iran explicitly seeks to destroy Israel. Assuming that half of this estimate is true, Israel would have curtailed Iran's strength for the first time since it entered the war almost five years ago. Who will compensate for Iran? While Israel can not interfere in other aspects of Iranian-Russian understanding, including the future of Iranian nuclear development, there is no reason to think that Russia and Israel, which have cooperated successfully on Syria in the past year, are in an extremely complex situation. But this is a long-term threat: Iranian military bases in Syria, close to Israel, manned by Shia volunteers from different countries, supplied with long-range sophisticated missiles which can reach any target in Israel, are totally unacceptable strategically for Israel, especially if combined with the missiles arsenal already in possession of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Would it be the Arab forces, mostly Egyptian?

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Using the opportunity, Nasrallah also slammed the American support for Israel and Donald Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last week. A direct confrontation is highly unlikely, but there may be smaller military operations against the Iranian presence outside of its territory. The aim is to pressure the regime in Tehran to withdraw its fighters from Syria, Iraq and Yemen and embarrass it before the Iranians and the region's people, like what happened to it last week in Syria. These Iranian bases, with their personal and military equipment are part of an Iranian agenda, which has nothing to do with the civil war (which is now in many respects over), but is clearly aimed against Israel and creates a virtual Iranian border with Israel. This was not happening before. In his words, Iranian missiles are used by Lebanon's Hezbollah movement to threaten Israel. The Iranian command, particularly the Revolutionary Guards, must be extremely embarrassed because it lost the recent confrontations which resembled a semi-state of war as this is the first there is a battle of this size between the two countries. Israel is a relatively small state as it has the approximate area of Kuwait; however, it has a regionally superior military capability. Taking advantage of tensions and the changing situation, it is establishing a new position for itself.

This article is also available in Arabic. His speech was broadcast by TV channel "al-Manar". A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column.

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