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Helpless Against Israeli Air Power
by James Dunnigan
May 22, 2013

Iranian efforts to reinforce Hezbollah are being hampered by Israeli air strikes. The first one was in January, but there have been two more in the last week with Israel hinting that there are more to come. Iran has long shipped weapons to Hezbollah via Syria, and with that route in danger of being cut, more missiles and other military equipment are being trucked to from Syria to Lebanon. Israel is determined to halt the movement of these long range missiles and Russian anti-aircraft systems to Lebanon. Israel has increasingly been working, usually quietly and unofficially, with Sunni Arab states to oppose Iranian sponsored terrorism and the Iranian nuclear weapons program. It appears that some of that cooperation is at work in Syria, where the principal financial and weapons suppliers for the rebels are Jordan and Arab Gulf states, some of them long-time silent partners with Israel in counter-terrorism matters. So far the only air support the Syrian rebels have received has come from Israel, not NATO. This annoys Iran a great deal because, as a practical matter, there is nothing Iran can do about it.

Hezbollah has responded by sending more armed men into Syria and threatening to openly declare war on the rebels if rebel interference with Hezbollah convoys does not cease. Hezbollah is less eager to threaten Israel with retaliation because the majority of Lebanese would like to see Hezbollah taken down a notch or two. Attacking Israel and getting beat up by the Israeli response would do that. Israel has been openly preparing that response for the last seven years.

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