Avi Melamed
Real Knowledge is a True Asset

Nasrallah is sending a message……But to whom ??

An Arab source reports, that last week Hezbollah conducted the largest military ground maneuver exercise in its history. The operation, held in the Beqa’a (the Lebanese valley) included 10,000 members of Hezbollah’s elite force – many of the militants are 16 – 20 years old.
Nasrallah personally attended and monitored part of the exercise together with officers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
The maneuver simulated Hezbollah’s takeover of the Upper Galilee area in Israel.
Hezbollah’s tactics resembled the ones they practiced during the 2006 war with one main difference – the new advanced weapon systems supplied to Hezbollah by Iran. Their new arsenal includes advanced anti-tank missiles and drones that can be used for both intelligence and surveillance purposes, as well as high precision assault weapons that can be activated by remote control.
(End of report)

This report should be viewed cautiously – the timing of its publishing is not coincidental. It is released at a time when Hezbollah is experiencing inner turmoil stemming from a series of recent events including: the kidnapping of Hezbollah senior officials in Syria; the arrest of a previous Lebanese government Minister associated with Hezbollah and the Assad regime who was in charge of a terror plot in Lebanon; the escalating anti-Hezbollah rhetoric of Salafi preacher Ahmad Al Asir in the area of Sidon (the largest city in Southern Lebanon and is predominantly Sunni); the kidnapping of Syrians in Lebanon that most people, including the Syrian National Council, hold Hezbollah responsible for; and the recent escalating violence between Sunnis and Alawites in Tripoli (the largest city in Northern Lebanon also Sunni) – according to recent report, Sunnis Sheiks in Tripoli announced the establishment of “The Sunni Military Defense Council.”

This development of Sunni cresecent which would pose an increasing threat and signifacnt challenge to Hezbollah is what I was refering to in my article Is war in the Middle East Inevitable ? (published on February 2012)

In my opinion, the report about the operation and other details mentioned in the report should be scrutinized carefully. It is very uncharacteristic of Hezbollah to disclose information about its military deployment, tactics and operational plans.
Therefore, I think that the report is actually a message from Hezbollah. The intended recipient of that message is not Israel. The real address are the Sunnis in Lebanon and in Syria that present a growing strategic threat to Hezbollah.

It is clear that Hezbollah is making preparations to meet the challenge. Recent reports indicate that Hezbollah is building a fortified line of bunkers, tunnels, communication networks and heavy armament including missiles which are deployed along along the eastern part of Lebanon on the Syrian-Lebanese “border” (there is no formal delineated border) and particularly in the area of Al Harmal which dominates the Beqa’a area.

Hezbollah is under growing pressure. The downfall of the Assad regime is likely to happen sooner or later. That will be a massive blow to Hezbollah and its patrons the Iranians. Hezbollah could find itself cut off from its major life line and confronting an enraged Syrian and Lebanese Sunni armed front.

Lebanon is held hostage by Hezbollah, and is subjected to increasing Iranian domination. Lebanon’s political and strategic destiny will be determined to a large extent by the developments and aftermath of the war in Syria and developments in the Iranian military nuclear project.

About the Author
Avi Melamed is a Strategic Intelligence Analyst and an Expert on the Current Affairs in the Arab and Muslim World and their impact on the Middle East. He is the Founder and CEO of Inside the Middle East: Intelligence Perspectives (ITME), an empowering intelligence analysis praxis transforming students and practitioners into knowledgeable, media literate, critical thinkers. ITME’s goal is to ensure that the next generation of policy influencers will have be equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to independently and accurately decipher the Middle East and accurately predict the direction of future events. He is a former Israeli Intelligence Official and Senior Official on Arab Affairs. In his public service, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities and communities throughout the region – often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. His newest book, Inside the Middle East: Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth, (also available as an audio book) – a GPS to help you navigate the dramatically changing Middle East, offers a unique insight into the Arab world, challenges widely-accepted perceptions, provides a guide to make sense of the events unfolding in the region, and offers an out of the box idea that could lead to a positive breakthrough in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides intelligence analysis, briefings and tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policy makers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs. An Israeli Jew, fluent in Arabic, English and Hebrew, with a unique understanding of Arab society and culture, Avi has his finger on the pulse on the Arab world. He has a proven record of foreseeing the evolution of events in the Middle East and their impact on a local and regional level. Through all of his efforts, as an analyst, educator, entrepreneur, and writer, he is a bridge builder, and dedicates himself to enhancing the Arabic, English and Hebrew speaking audience’s comprehensive understanding of the Middle East and of each other. @AviMelamed