Beyond Rhetoric: Hizbullah Threats after the Mughniyeh Assassination

[Washington Institute for Near East Policy] David Schenker - In response to the Feb. 12 assassination of chief of operations Imad Mughniyeh, Hizbullah has ratcheted up its threats. In turn, Israel has locked down its foreign missions, put its military on heightened alert, and deployed Patriot missiles near Haifa. In Washington, the FBI issued a bulletin warning of possible attacks on U.S. soil. Precedent suggests that concerns about Hizbullah retaliation are well-founded. Even with its military infrastructure reestablished, Hizbullah's range of options on Lebanese soil is now constrained by 15,000 UNIFIL troops and an equal number of Lebanese soldiers south of the Litani. Given additional domestic constraints, it seems more likely that Hizbullah would pursue a retaliatory operation abroad. The group has a global network of terrorist cells said to be pre-positioned and ready to strike. Israeli intelligence officials are already predicting retaliatory strikes after Mughniyeh's forty-day mourning period.

2008-02-29 01:00:00

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