Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told a meeting at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv yesterday that there was no longer a distinction between Hezbollah and the Lebanese armed forces.
Speaking inside a Sukkah, as Israel celebrates the Jewish festival of Sukkot, Lieberman said that Israel should consider Lebanon and Syria as a united front in a future confrontation and that Israel may have to fight simultaneously “ a campaign on two fronts” in the north and south.
He said that in a future war there “will be one area: Syria and Lebanon together, Hezbollah, the Assad regime and all collaborators of the Assad regime. Regarding the Lebanese region, we’re no longer talking solely about Hezbollah”.
He added that “the Lebanese army has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s campaign under its command. The Lebanese army has lost its independence, and has become inextricably linked to Hezbollah”.
Roni Daniel, security analyst for Israel’s Channel 2 news, called Lieberman’s remarks significant, noting that unlike the conflict with Hezbollah in the Second Lebanon War, Lebanese state infrastructure would become legitimate targets according to this new assessment. Daniel reported that IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot agrees with the Defence Minister’s assessment.