Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hezbollah is building a new base, or are they?

The English newspaper The Times had a background article two days ago that confirms the many rumors about Hezbollah’s regrouping and building a new base, north of the Litani river. The article claims that a Shiite businessman close to Hezbollah has been buying land during the last year at a fast pace in order to create a stronghold away from prying eyes.

It demonstrates the deep pockets behind Hezbollah, and, even more interesting, it clearly indicates that Hezbollah must be in possession of long distance rockets that can hit Israel from behind the Litani river. This would confirm a story I posted earlier on my (back then Dutch) blog in which I mentioned the story I heard from people who were in Faraya during the war and saw Hezbollah rockets flying from the north of the Bekaa valley (they said Hermel, but I thought that was a Sunni stronghold?) to Israel.

If they have rockets that can cover 100+ kilometer, then building up a new base away from the border makes sense. This way, Hezbollah will avoid Unifil soldiers who are getting increasingly tough with them. As a bonus, the area is in the midst of Christian and Druze villages, which would reduce the number of Shiite victims in case Israel would retaliate against their base.

The article speaks of the defense line that Hezbollah is constructing, but this is obviously incorrect…unless you assume that Hezbollah has no desire anymore to defend the land south of the Litani river, their own backyard so to speak. No, in combination with the rumors of long range weapons, one can only conclude that this new base is for offensive purposes only, a huge launch pad from where to attack Israel.

Either way, it is difficult to imagine why Hezbollah would want to set up a more or less centralized base. During the July War, their head offices in Haret Hreik were fully demolished. By creating another huge, “yoo-hoo here we are”, central command area, they are facilitating Israel to bomb them to Kingdom Come during a new conflict.

It would make more sense if Hezbollah would remain low key, spread out in tiny units, a rocket launcher here and there, fully in line with the guerrilla strategy they have successfully applied all throughout their existence. So why build a huge base on millions of square meters of land? Something does not compute.


apokraphyte said...

See Pat Lang's blog for a discussion, if you are interested.

Riemer Brouwer said...

Thanks, interesting stuff! For other readers: here's the link to the discussion:

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