By Peter Cherry
On Sunday morning, in the wake of last August’s bombing in the Golan Heights targeting Hezbollah, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a large-scale exercise simulating war against the Shia group in southern Lebanon. The operation known as “Deadly Arrow” is part of greater preparations by the Zionist state for war with its neighboring states.
Hezbollah emerged in the early 1980s, originally as a national resistance militia that militarily fought the Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon that began in 1982. The movement had as its main inspiration the 1979 Iranian revolution, which brought the Shia landowner regime of the Ayatollahs to power there. The invasion of Israeli troops resulted in several Lebanese Shia movements consolidating , with Hezbollah gaining great prestige after expelling all forces of Israeli occupation that remained in 2000.
Hezbollah is one of Lebanon’s main electoral parties today, where it has a significant share of the reactionary parliament’s seats. Its social base is among the dominant classes, especially the large landlords. The successful defense against its Zionist neighbor in a 2006 invasion and continued hostility along the border with Lebanon is what has led to this drill. Israel claims that there are 130,000 rockets and missiles stashed within southern villages and caves.
Hezbollah’s main regional allies have been the Syrian and Iranian governments, receiving training from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, forcing it to play the role of lackey to Russian imperialism at times, which operates via these states.
Michael Oren, former US ambassador to Israel under President Obama, said that the drill along Israel’s northern front has much to do with contention, claiming that if the election favors Donald Trump, then Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah will try to resist more punitive terms imposed by US imperialism with renewed attacks on Israel. Under the Trump administration, the US recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, the annexation of settlements in Palestine’s West Bank, and pursued continuing political and economic sanctions on both Lebanon and Iran. A Biden administration will be no less aggressive in its pursuit of regional dominance via its clients such as Israel.
Deadly Arrow simulates exercises in southern Lebanon, mocking home-by-home raids and bombings in the likely event of wanting to deprive Hezbollah of its rocket and missile capability, and is likewise preparing for a situation in Gaza and Syria at the same time. This drill of a situation for strikes in all directions is one of many aggressive maneuvers by Israel that are part of new preparations for the excursions of US imperialism into the region.
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