Hizbullah Is Readying Lebanon for War

(The National-Abu Dhabi) Michael Young - In the recent tension in southern Lebanon between villagers and the UN force UNIFIL, Hizbullah saw an opportunity to send a warning to the international peacekeepers that their freedom to maneuver was limited. Initially, the Lebanese army and government failed to back up the UN. After the angry response of states contributing soldiers to UNIFIL, Lebanon backtracked, vowing to continue cooperating with the UN. However, the incidents confirmed that Hizbullah has substantial control over the Lebanese army, particularly the army's intelligence services. Hizbullah's freedom to act both politically and militarily is essential to its role as an extension of Iran on the Israeli border. At a broader level, the quarrel with UNIFIL may also be seen as an Iranian reply to the recent passage of Security Council sanctions against Tehran. The writer is opinion editor of the Daily Star in Beirut.

2010-07-16 10:26:51

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