Israel Making Preparations To Launch Invasion Of Southern Lebanon

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Mar 12, 2024 - 12:40 AM

Israel has continued signaling that it is preparing to launch a major new operation against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon following months of tit-for-tat escalation. Some 80,000 Israeli residents whose homes are near the border have remained evacuated since October and November, and are essentially internally displaced. Because of this, pressure has mounted on Israeli leaders to do something that would allow their return, and ensure the security of Israel's north.

Israeli media, particularly YNet News reported on Sunday that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is preparing "contingency plans" for a wide-scale attack on Lebanon. Israeli Army Northern Command head Major General Ori Gordin in a meeting with settler leaders from northern Israel stated, "We are preparing contingency plans to launch an attack in Lebanon. Our commitment, mine, is to change the security situation so that the residents can be returned home."


YNet further unveiled plans to initiate the army's "Operation Steady Anchor" which aims to protect civilians during the expected escalation in fighting. Hezbollah is widely estimated to possess over 150,000 rockets - some of which can likely reach Haifa and Tel Aviv.

The operation involves setting up dozens of mass shelters utilizing fortified abandoned buildings and underground parking garages. This is to protect civilians in the instance of a mass Hezbollah rocket barrage. The shelters will be equipped to allow families to take refuge anywhere from a few hours to up to several days.

In another key sign of Tel Aviv's war preparations, the IDF has been conducing a logistics supply drill focused on its northern bases and positions, and in preparation for a Lebanon offensive This has included practice runs delivering ammo, equipment, water, and fuel to simulated "maneuvering forces" operating in southern Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Army Chief Herzi Halevi has reportedly ordered Brig. Gen. Chico Tamir, the former deputy commander of the northern corps, to draw up "several possible plans for a ground operation in Lebanon."

Veteran Middle East war correspondent Elijah Magnier reports Monday from the Lebanese side that "Hezbollah (and allies) is training and preparing for a possible war with Israel above and below ground."

Attacks by Hezbollah have continued to be daily, also amid Israeli return fire. On Sunday a major Israeli airstrike hit a home in south Lebanon's Khirbet Selm, killing a family of five, including three Hezbollah members.

Last month, an op-ed in Foreign Policy predicted that a broader Israel-Hezbollah war is inevitable. "It is likely that there is going to be a war between Hezbollah and Israel within the next six to eight months," wrote Steven Cook, senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Cook said, "Still, it is not hard to imagine a moment at which the Iranians loosen the reins on their primary proxy. As Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah made clear in an early January speech remembering the life and work of Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani—the IRGC Quds Force commander who the United States killed in a drone strike in early 2020—the Iranians have put significant time, energy, and resources into the development of so-called axis of resistance."

A bigger war in Lebanon would very likely also spill over into Syria and Iraq as well, where US occupying forces have already come under frequent drone and rocket attack, though these instances have been less frequently in the last few weeks.