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IAF Cross-Border Raids in the Larger Picture of Hezbollah vs Israel


IAF Cross-Border Raids in the Larger Picture of Hezbollah vs Israel

Illustrative image

Written by Dennis M. Nilsen exclusively for SouthFront

As has become worldwide news, on February 10 the Syrian Air Defense Forces succeeded in causing, directly or indirectly, the downing of an Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16I.  The warplane comprised part of an eight-plane attack group returning from a raid on the Tiyas Military Airbase just west of Palmyra, launched in response to the shooting down of a drone over Israeli territory just beyond the Golan Heights.  An Apache attack helicopter of the IAF shot down what Israel claims was an Iranian drone launched from the Syrian airbase, and upon the demise of one of its F-16s the IAF launched further raids on Syrian and Iranian military targets in the vicinity of Damascus, including three air defense posts.  Syria claims its air defense thwarted the attacks, while the Iranian IRGC have refused to confirm the Israeli claims and, further, deny that they have set up military installations in Syria.  The Syrians and Iranians both claim that the drone was engaged in an operation against one of the several terrorist groups operating on the Syrian-Lebanese border.  Incidentally, the two Israeli pilots successfully ejected; while one is in serious condition in hospital, his partner walked away with minor injuries.  Casualties for their opponents have yet to be confirmed.

While Israeli consternation at the violation of its airspace is understandable, the fact that the IAF has done the very same to Syria on over 100 occasions since the beginning of the revolt against President Assad is getting lost in the media coverage.  This brings up the larger picture of the opposition between the US/Israel block and the Axis of Resistance.  The Zionists insist that the IRGC is taking advantage of the generally distracted state of Syria to move arms shipments to Hezbollah through the country and into the forward areas of that group in southern Lebanon, concerned as they have become at a pending Israeli attack to wipe them out.  They have further accused the Islamic Republic of building missile factories in southwest Syria near to Hezbollah-controlled areas in order to considerably cut the supply route distance.  However, the larger arsenal which Hezbollah possesses and which it continues to augment thanks to the IRGC only makes the Israelis that much more jittery over the existence of such a weapons cache just across their northern border.  Are both sides to blame here, or does the blame lay solely on one side?

Hezbollah formed in 1982 to oppose the secular Amal then engaged in the Lebanese Civil War.  Frustrated at the Shiite group’s refusal to seek an Islamic state and inspired by the recent revolution in Iran, a group of clerics actively sought the aid of the newly-established IRGC to form a military to pull away Shiite support from Amal and to organize a viable front to the South Lebanese Army, allied with the Israelis.  Though it has modified its militant stance considerably vis-à-vis internal Lebanese politics, Hezbollah continuously refuses to acknowledge the existence of the Zionist State and to stand against any compromise short of the full withdrawal of Israel to the 1948 borders (the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) and the return of the Palestinian exiles.  Since these objectives have not been met, Hezbollah continues to exist in opposition to both Israeli policy and the Israeli state.

The considerable missile arsenal which it possesses (thanks to the IRGC) is officially proclaimed to stand collectively as a defensive weapon against a potential Israeli strike, although Israel and its chief ally the United States refuses good faith to Hezbollah and as a consequence refuses this doctrine.  With their backs to the sea, it is entirely reasonable for the Israelis to face the southern Lebanese border with a strong military presence and to constantly plan and exercises for another war with the group.  Further, because the Zionist State was formed without the acceptance of most of the Arab world, its leadership cannot afford to abide by the ruling of any international body, particularly the UN and its refusal to acknowledge the legality of Israeli occupation of the three above-named territories.  The result, impossible for Western mainstream media comprehension, is the existence of Israel as a rogue state, not only occupying land foreign to it but also allowing and (depending upon the party in power) actively encouraging the creation of settlements in those territories by militant members of Israeli society who claim their right to do so based not upon international law, but upon a very worldly interpretation of the Old Mosaic Dispensation.

This may very well serve as the historical background to Hezbollah’s and the larger Muslim animosity against the Zionist State, but the immediate blame which Israel must shoulder is the continued violation of Syrian airspace to strike at targets they rightly or wrongly believe to directly aid Hezbollah’s military capabilities.  Even if their military intelligence is correct about the targets they hit, such strikes must only occur with the permission of the Syrian Government and, lacking this, constitute de facto acts of war.  This latest incident merely showed Syria responding in kind and the IAF suffering the loss of an aircraft, which perplexedly drove an additional IAF raid to destroy as much of the Syrian air defense system as possible, which was merely carrying out its duty in the first place.

What of the Hezbollah missile arsenal in Lebanon?  If it does indeed constitute a threat to Israel, does the latter have the right to invade another country to prevent its augmentation?  Certainly not.  Saying yes, as many apologists in the West do, is like agreeing that Russia, mutatis mutandis, has the right to send weapons to the forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to oppose the Ukrainian armed forces bent on subduing them.  The Ukrainian means of waging war have been nothing short of savage and so it is reasonable for the rebels to wish to arm themselves as much as possible to prevent injustice against themselves, their families and their property.  Is Hezbollah’s arsenal likewise a reasonable precaution against a repeat of the 2006 Israeli aerial campaign that destroyed most of Lebanon’s infrastructure, or a primarily offensive weapon for use against Israeli population centers?  Even if it is the latter, Hezbollah will not risk fomenting a war against the Zionist state unless provoked by the latter, and so the Israelis have no choice but to allow this build up.  But with the military they possess – including the multi-layered missile defense system – what do they really have to fear?  The fact that they are seeking to prevent it only adds fuel to the regional fire and further ostracizes them diplomatically.

As for Iran, if it is establishing missile manufacturing bases in Syria with that country’s permission explicitly to supply Hezbollah and to create a deterrent to another possible massive Israeli military action against Lebanon, or the West Bank or Gaza for that matter, what of it?  As is admitted by all the world save themselves, the Israelis possess a nuclear arsenal in addition to technology and a military far superior to any of its neighbors.  Distrusting the Zionist state as it does, how can Hezbollah be blamed for seeking to acquire the only deterrent to give the Israelis pause?  Israel seeks the destruction of that group and vice versa so how can the one be blamed any more than the other?  If the Israelis continue to act as they do, this will only prove to Hezbollah as well as to Syria and Iran that the former cannot be trusted and to the further build up an arsenal to be ready as a counter to any Israeli attacks.  Iran is free to choose its regional partners and for religious, ideological and strategic reasons, it has chosen Hezbollah.

Western commentators, especially those who espouse the right of NATO to move troops right up to Russia’s border and to conduct military exercises in the teeth of Putin’s veterans, should take pause before leveling charges against the Axis of Resistance.



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  • MD Ranix

    infinite victory for hezbollah
    zero for israhell and its lapdogs- root of all evil on earth

  • Pave Way IV

    The Israeli F-16 was blown in half a few miles from its base near Haifa, probably when it was lining up for its landing approach. Not only was the Israeli Sufa unable to counter the upgraded SA-5 SAM, but Israeli’s much-touted ground air defense failed to intercept the incoming missile. This is extraordinary regardless of what may have happened inside Syria with shorter-range SAMs.

    Israel had counted (until now) on a strategy of hit and run using standoff weapons against Syrian targets. Its aircraft were ‘safe’ once they scurried back into Israeli territory because (in their estimation) Syria wouldn’t dare fire missiles towards Israel.

    The message to Israel this time was that Syria will now pursue attacking IAF aircraft well into Israeli territory – all the way back to their home base. While this would be a normal act of any two nations at war, Israel considered themselves an exception. Bibi threatened an all-out war if anyone dared to do such a thing.

    Syria just gave Israel the finger and said if you attack targets within our borders, we will respond by attacking targets within your borders. Israel can whine and cry all it wants about Iranian and Hezbollah presence in Syria, but the price for doing so has just gone way up for them.

    • Joan

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      • Ariel Cohen


        • Freespirit

          What does FO mean?

    • Freespirit

      This complete article is PREMISED on the LIE that Israel, a FORCED Apartheid entity, controlled by FAKE ( not Semitic) Jews has a RIGHT to EXIST in Palestine.

      It does not, therefore all the arguments,”evidences” and assertions are once again making me question Southfront’s OBJECTIVITY, Integrity, KNOWLEDGE and WHO truly controls it.

      Once before several months ago I expressed this same concern

      Is SOUTHFRONT “Controlled Opposition” ?

  • Rob


    Pakistan Aeronautical Complex making fighter jets JF-17 block-1 and block-2.

    Before in 1970 Pakistan position was worst than Syria and Iraq but when Pakistan understood that US is playing game with Pakistan then Pakistan approached to China and Russia for help and joint military production facilities, then in 1998 by their own efforts they have tested first 5 nuclear weapons, then missiles and then their own fighter jets JF-17 block-1 and block-2. Now Pakistan is free from Washington. Now Pakistan is strategic partner of Russia and China. When Pakistan need any weapons then they ask from China and Russia. In fact Pakistan has freed in 1998 when they have done nuclear weapons tests and developed their own missiles and tanks etc.

    • Rob

      Pakistan in their new fighter jet JF-17 block 3 should fit (AL-31F jet engine) and also increase its length to 16 meter.
      Pakistan should also develop a long range 22 meter fighter jet like Mig-31 because Pakistan don’t have aircraft carrier.

    • Tommy Jensen

      Iran should do the same.

    • Funny thing about pakistan , their cooperation with china begat a very cost effective JF17 , while the Loud Mouth Indian military industry still cant even make an assault rifle ..

      • Rob

        Thanks. Actually there is a big demand for JF-17 fighter jets but Pakistan produces just 26 units per year. If they increase its production capacity to 100 units per year so then they can supply to other Muslim brother countries too. At this moment Pakistan PAF itself needs more 150 fighter jets to retire their own F-7, Miraj 5 and old F-16.

  • Rob

    In the last meeting of the Rex Tillerson with Lebanese President Michel Aoun shows that how much US has influence in a true democratic country Lebanon, so much real misery of Rex Tillerson.
    Then in yesterday meeting between Rex T and Çavuşoğlu in Ankara there were a verbal fight. Rex Tillerson forced Çavuşoğlu that give respect to US and stop Olive Branch operation along the Syrian border and Çavuşoğlu said sorry we cannot negotiate on our national security. Now US just setting like ducks and watching their own alloy’s misery. This is US failure in the Middle East region.

    Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians, Lebanese and Pakistanis thoroughly observe the US misery in Syria.

    If Saudis say sorry to US regime that you are not a good player, so then what will happen to Trump. I think he will get suffered from heart attack along with Netanyahu.

  • Rob


    Syrian government should make it compulsory for each and every citizen to do one year military job after training.
    Syria needs to keep ready at least one million military strength out of 20 million population.
    100 fighter jets like Pakistani JF-17 and some 20 Russian SU-35.
    Short and long range missiles ICBMs and nuclear weapons for their defense.

    Weak defense mean invitation of aggression from US and Israeli terrorists. Now Palestine has no defence force so Israeli terrorists kidnaping and butchering dozens of Palestinians each day just for nonsence accusations. Israel produces each month several long range missiles ICBMs and nuclear and bio-chemical weapons.

    • Rob

      Pakistan in their new fighter jet JF-17 block 3 should fit (AL-31F jet engine) and also increase its length to 16 meter.
      Pakistan should also develop a long range 22 meter fighter jet like Mig-31 because Pakistan don’t have aircraft carrier.

  • Rob

    For living fake Israel takes US$10 billion each year from our government. Its a pity and shame that one side they are surviving on charity and on other side they claiming bravery. According to Torah Jews are not allowed to occupy Palestine and they should have to stay away from Palestine but according to statistics Israel have no religion and that is why these fake Israel cannot claim the land of Palestine.

    The real practical Jews called Ultra Orthodox Jews who campaign against Zionism and saying that Israel are abusing our religion and demand for the immediate dismantling of the state of Israel. The real Jews will never kill, this is Israeli fake Jews that kidnapping and killing Palestinians because Israel don’t follow Torah. Israel only follow Satan.

    • FlorianGeyer

      In reality the Khazar dominated IDF is a companion of ISIS and both commit atrocities against those who stand up against them.

      The US military is no better.

      • Rob

        This is true.

    • Now now , Torah was meant for REAL jewish people and jewish descendant.. not some european poser who think they are ‘jew’ and then use the Torah to steal land of judea as their ‘birth right’… They are the FAKE JEWS that was described in the Book of Revelation in the bible.. the one that pretend to be jew and then occupy jerusalem claiming it as their capital..

  • Rob


    Israeli terrorists were kidnapping Ahed Tamimi a 16 year old Palestinian girl at day time but she resisted to Israeli terrorists and kick them out from her home. Then Israeli terrorists have kidnapped Ahed Tamimi and her parents at midnight by gunpoints. Nobody knows where they are now. Each year Israel kidnap thousands of adults and small kids from the streets. Many of them Israel kill in fake fight. If Vietnam can free from American regime army then its not difficult for Palestine and their allies to kick out all Israel from Middle East.

    • what a great nation , brave against children and girls …

      yet when faced with real fighting men like the hezbollah commandoes , these israelis ran away in tears , even prefering to go to jail because they disobey order to assault hezbollah positions..

  • 911psyops

    Excellent analysis of the current situation

  • Rob

    The majority of Muslim countries leaders have ignored each other and enjoy their lives. I don’t see any capability in any Muslim leader to lead the Muslim world. They have ignored Palestine and also the historic Mosque of Aqsa.

    I haven’t heard that any Muslim leader have visited Palestine or they have asked about Palestinians that how their time passing under occupation. Either these Muslim leaders are scaring from Israel or they have taken blood money from US. Indeed the judgement day is so near on them that they all will answer to God. No leader will leave unpunished.

  • Daniel Castro

    “while one is in serious condition in hospital”

    Excelent news.

    Let’s hope he gets tetraplegic, it is worse than death, suits well for child murderers.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    Imagine Syrian air defense with S-300VM and a ring of Pantsir S2 around it….

  • Garga

    Thank you for the article, however I don’t believe you did not do a research before writing it.
    Hezbollah was created in 1985, not ’82. Why is that so important? Because the bombing of marine barracks in Beirut happened in 1982 and the Zionists just love to glue it to Hezbollah which was created 3 years after that incident. If they admit Hezbollah didn’t exist at the time of bombing, how on earth can they blame it on Hezbollah?

    Now some may say the bombings was done by some “elements” who later formed Hezbollah. That’s wrong again. Nobody knows for sure who did the bombing, except for an anonymous phone call from a public pay phone that claimed they are a group named “Islamic Jihad” and they did the bombing. Nobody heard about them before that and nobody heard again since the bombings.

    In another example you compared Israel’s aggression against it’s neighbours with Russia, if Russia sends arms to the new republics which seceded from Ukraine. I think it’s not a good example. A right and meaningful example would be if Russia bombed Ukraine or Poland to prevent their possible attack (or their resistance and retaliation) in the future, in case Russia decided to attack them sometimes in the future.

    • velociraptor

      You, iranian shits together with olad assad destroyed lebanon. you have no rights. iran must stay behind its borders! at least until ayatollahs will not hanged up and sharia finished. of course, all irgc members hanged up, too.

      • gh79

        lol. how old are you?

        • do not reply to ‘velociraptor’ disqus ID , he is a known hasbara troll who post nonsense to detract the discussion at hand.. just FLAG him as spam so DISQUS will filter him out.

        • Ariel Cohen

          He is about 18, but mental equivalent of a 6 year old. His language skills are atrocious ..

    • Tommy Jensen

      Some rumours says Mossad blew up US barracks in Beirut, but as you state the only thing which can be tracked and documented is that it wasnt Hezbollah who did it.

      • Ronald

        And that , Hezbollah was not formed until 85 .

      • wrong , mossad HUMINT sources are suggesting upcoming terrorist suicide truck operation targetting US assets , they just didnt pass the intel to US ..

    • remember during that lebanon crisis , the US military was targetted because they pick sides in the lebanon civil war. Not only the US and French barracks were targetted and destroyed , the US diplomatic compound also targetted at the same day the CIA have meeting in the building. The Hezbollah practically destroyed the US intelligence capability in lebanon , especially after the kidnapping and interrogation of lebanon CIA station chief , who was kept in a closed coffin sized box for days to break his soul.

      the hezbollah kidnapped soviet diplomats and staffs , and the soviet kidnapped son of pro hez sheik , cut his balls and send it to the sheik.. it is no surprise the kidnapped soviet diplomats were released fast..

      and remember the israeli mossad tried to infiltrate hezbollah but failed repeatedly because the tribal sheiks form like big family where everyone knew where every came from..

  • LION
  • velociraptor

    Hezbollah formed in 1982 to oppose the secular Amal

    filthy mujahedins! kill all af them!

  • nshah

    Excellent article..!

  • alejandro casalegno

    Somebody know the Squadron and numeral of the IAF F-16 shot down???…..and the SAA misile?, don´t was a Vega, the most serios candidates are the Pantsir and the Buk.

  • First Lastname

    See Kyle

  • First Lastname
  • The reality of IDF performance , outside the propaganda and myth making by IDF PR dept , is that IDF today are not the same as the 1970s IDF.. IDF officers and leaders today have ZERO war experience except against barely equipped insurgents and unarmed civilians / kids throwing stones..

    anyone NOT UNDER the western propaganda kool aid will notice that for decades that’s all experience IDF got and it showed in the 2006 war against hezbolllah infantry with no airpower, no big artilery (total 900+ vs 30.000 IDF)]

    this IAF shotdown was also a sign , that after decades of not facing REAL threat , the IAF pilots got LAX and this is the result..

    IDF believe in their own propaganda and act accordingly..

    • alejandro casalegno

      Owerwatch. You are right, and the weakest point in the IDF is the infantry, in a CQB against Hezbollah they don´t have a chance, even with massive artillery and CAS they are in serious problems.

      • there’s 2 statement from US air force officer regarding 2006 lebanon war..

        1. The Vaunted IAF ran out of bombs in less than 20 days of constant bombing of lebanese civilian infrastructure , and have to ask for more from USAF warstock. There;s no contest on IAF jets in the lebanon war , and they ran out of bomb so quick ? it showed inherent logistical problem and sustainability of IAF in waging real war.

        2. Israel practically only 4 helicopters away from disaster , as noticed by said officer.. after the hezbollah shot down Israeli Apaches and CH53 Yashur , IDF forbid heli operation. Remember this is a war against small number of commandos and IDF cannot utilize their air and fire power supremacy..

        yet so many western people are blind to the truth and still believing the might of IDF..