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04 November 2017


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It seems that you don't agree with me about the current strength of Hizbullah's military forces. I suggest you read the wiki on Hizbullah's military strength to catch up on the subject. The author of that article demonstrates how much stronger Hizbullah is now than it was in 2006. He states that he thinks Hizbullah has probably lost 2,000 dead in Syria with most being in the Battle of Aleppo, but he understands that recruitment of motivated youth from large Shia families plus the combat experienced veterans who have fought in Syria make for a force that is a lot stronger than it was in 2006. pl


Testament to my ignorance. Thank you.


In 2006 the Israeli attack was stopped by the Hezbollah militias. The full-timers were not involved in this.

IMO Hezbollah uses an integrated approach to disseminate knowledge through their organization. Both (specialist) training and experience (through rotation or detachment to other (including foreign) units) are done according to the capabilities and ambitions of the individuals. IMO HB as an organizations is creative, intelligent and able to learn (adapt to changing conditions and learning from its mistakes)

Paired with tough, resilient people that are not afraid to die if necessary makes HB a formidable opponent.



Not yours. But it does show the shallowness of sound-bite journalism.


If there is another war, I am of the opinion that a paper tiger is about to be exposed and this time the tiger may be taught a lesson that it will never forget.

Babak Makkinejad

Rather doubtful, in 2006 the Christians were reported to be drinking to the health of IDF pilots in East Beirut bars.


As good an explanation as any why Saad H was summoned back to the medieval Kingdom of Wahhabi Barbaria and ordered to resign as PM of Lebanon due to "foreign influence' in Leb. and fear of assasination.



Been saying for some time now that with the plan to destroy Syria's military by the US and NATO a la Libya being put on hold due to the Russian intervention, Israel is becoming desperate over the plan to start a war with Iran which the US will prosecute for Israel.

The recent Congressional sanctions on Hizballah and the uptick in talk against Hizballah indicated to me that Israel may be trying to get the US to attack Hizballah itself or at least directly support an Israeli attack on Lebanon.

I hadn't anticipated the excuse of "protecting Lebanon from Hizballah and/or another civil war - by bombing Lebanon"... :-) Israel can come up with some doozies...

Today I also read the following which is precisely along the same lines:

Israel Threatens Intervention After Nusra Bomb Kills Nine in Syrian Druze Village

In other words, Israel wants to "protect" the Druze by bombing the crap out of Syria. Same-same "protect Lebanon" by bombing the crap out of Lebanon.

I am more confident than the Colonel that somehow Israel will find an excuse to attack Hizballah in Lebanon within, say, the next year, if not sooner. I suggest a 75% probability.

As for Hizballah's ability to withstand that attack, there is little doubt that they are significantly stronger now than they were in 2006. Which is one reason Israel is much more desperate and its attack on Lebanon will be even more brutal than 2006. It's also one reason why Israel will be trying to get the US on board to join in.


Adama Garrie on Hariri resignation & Saudi purge, detailed analysis:

"In all of this, it is implied that Hariri had little choice in the matter. He was merely given an offer he could not refuse by MBS and he took it. Perhaps this is why Hariri is out of power but not under arrest. Were he to resist Saudi attempts to ‘guide’ his future, he may have found that fortune would have not smiled on him in the way that it apparently has done."

2 radically different interpretations of Saudi’s ‘great purge’ and Lebanese PM Hariri’s ‘resignation’
Each scenario must be explored in order to better understand what is happening in Saudi, Lebanon and beyond.




I am concerned that Bibi is working hard to get the US to directly participate in a war against Hizbullah. pl


The Fall and the Fall of Hariri
by Ghassan Kadi

> To add insult to injury, with the down turn of the Saudi economy, Hariri’s main Saudi company (Oger) was under severe financial stress, and instead of being given the Saudi government subsidy and huge railway contract it was promised, it received zilch and it was forced into bankruptcy under the deliberate watchful eye of MBS.

> The Saudi-Hariri impasse was only strengthened by the Lebanese presidential elections. Saudi Arabia was adamant to block the election of Michel Aoun; a staunch supporter of Hezbollah, and as his election was becoming more imminent, in an act of dismay, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador in Lebanon. To add insult to injury, Hariri had to engage in a deal with the new president, his former foe, and be his prime minister. At that point, one could argue that the Saudi-Hariri relationship was totally and irrevocably severed.
> As a matter of fact, when Hariri was given the appointment as prime minister almost exactly a year ago, he had already lost not only his strong and powerful Saudi allies, but also his fortune and many of his Lebanese power brokers and street support.

> So what made Hariri go to Riyadh and announce his resignation, as the prime minister of Lebanon, from the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh?
> Whatever the details of the newly-founded Saudi-Hariri alliance are, they do not have much chance of success. The battle was lost in Syria, and for Hariri to be able to pick up the pieces and reverse the situation from within Lebanon, he does not have much chance of success; especially that Hezbollah now is stronger than ever, both militarily and politically. Only an Israeli military gamble in Lebanon can potentially change the balance in favour of Hariri and Saudi Arabia. Having said that, any such gamble will most likely backfire, just like previous gambles. If Israel and Hezbollah have another showdown, and this is probably a question of when not if, the timing and location may not be of Israel’s choosing.
> MBS and Hariri are more likely to achieve nothing at all with their new alliance. Apart from getting media coverage and analysis reports like this one, the most they can affectively achieve is more street riots and acts of sabotage. This time, the Lebanese security forces and Hezbollah will be on full alert and preparedness to deal with them, after all, with the “War on Syria” coming to its end and the Syrian-Lebanese borders secured already, Lebanon and Hezbollah do not need to watch their back.




Do you have any thoughts of your own or will you just post links? pl


I watched a recent WINEP lecture by Gen. Golan on Israel's defense policy and the gist was Iran is the primary enemy and Hizbullah are a secondary problem. He was of the opinion that Israel could deal with Hizb, without help, but not Iran - which was for the US to deal with.


Last month (at least 4 of the 6 on order) new Super Tucano ground attack aircraft were delivered to the Lebanese Air Force by Sierra Nevada Corporation (owned by Turkish-Americans Ozmen)

SNC is also in the business of ISR. Gorgon Stare. Wide Aerea Airborne Surveillance.

In the last month there has also been the transfer of a AC208 ISR aircraft (which has been in Lebanon for some time) which IMO has Gorgon Stare-capable equipment on board and Hellfire missiles. Supplier (and possibly also operator) is Orbital ATK which was also involved in arms transfers to jihadists in Syria. Not sure if the other 2 AC208 in the inventory have the same equipment.


How did Saad Hariri leave to SA? Was it from/via Sidon last thursday?


Paraphrasing Nasrallah's speech today, which was broadcast on Al Jazeera for the first time since 2011:

Nasrallah did not take the Saudi bait and their attempts at escalation in sectarian strife in Lebanon. More relevant to American audiences is his call for calm in the face of rumors about imminent attacks by Israel and Saudi Arabia:
"The second rumor that has caused worries - is that the resignation of PM Hariri is the beginning of an Israeli attack on Lebanon. Israel does not work for Saudi; Israel works for US and works for its own interests. An Israeli attack on Lebanon are based on Israeli interests and Israeli calculations, and there is an agreement since 2006 by all Israelis that Israel will not begin a war on Lebanon unless it is short and quick and winnable, and with few financial costs. From 2006 until now, notice the language of Israel: they threaten in retaliation. I do not want to deny any threats from Israel - but it will not impact Israeli decisions for an attack on Lebanon if there is a gov't in Lebanon or not, or who the PM will be or won't be. Today, more than ever, the Israeli calculations of any attack on Lebanon also take into consideration regional and global analysis, which are vastly different than how it was in 2006. (3) The third rumor is that one tv channel that the Saudi called for a meeting with its military allies of some 30 or 40 countries and that Saudi is planning for a vast war against Lebanon. It is not clear that such a meeting has taken place, although some in Lebanon may have wanted such a call. Saudi will bring allies and launch a war on Lebanon. I am one of those people who don't believe such a rumor. Yes, launching a war of its allies against Yemen; Yemen is a neighbor. But they want to attack Lebanon from - Syria, where they failed, or from Occupied Palestine, or from the sea? From a simple military analysis, this rumor has no foundation or logic. If such military analysis can be of use to the Saudi regime - let him use them against Yemen, where they have failed. Every day there is a Saudi massacre in Yemen! Before we even talk about a Saudi plan in Lebanon, let us wait what to see where Saudi Arabia itself is going -- particularly when we see the size and names of those arrested and those whose moneys have been seized.

As we await to see - I call on all Lebanese and on all who live in Lebanon - to be calm and to be reassured."


An unprovoked attack by Israel on HB on Lebanon´s soil would require for Israel to have a "Gleiwitz" moment - what could that be? A simple layman´s rocket falling on empty field would not be enough, seems to me.


Reported... by people familiar with the matter... who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak in public (and yet seemed strangely anxious to speak anyway, despite being told not to do that).

Account Deleted

If Babak is right in his World Balkans analogy it will be of little historical interest who fired the first shot, or why. Major loss of life in Israel will surely bring the US in.


Great speech, I wish we had politicians who made as such sense.



Nasrullah on Iranian TV has said that the resignation was dictated by the Saudis.


Hariri was a distraction from the purge. I don't think this signals any change from the current proxy war.


Netanyahu was interviewed on British television on Sunday morning. Same old blustering lying indicating ethnic cleansing of Palestinians will continue, trying to get the Sunni Arabs to fight Iran and no he doesn't really trust Trump.


Today Blue Flag 2017 exercise starts in Israel at Eilat (not in S-400 range) for the next 2 weeks. So lots of activity in Israeli airspace.


Lots of foreign participants.

5x Italian Tornado FGA
5x French Mirage 2000s
5x Polish F16s
6x German Eurofighters
1x Indian C130 SO
(5x?) Greek F16s
(5+5?) US F15E and F16s

Also several AEW/ECM aircraft as well as IDF/AF participants.

When I'm very conspiratorial, this would be a good time for a Hezbollah ('terrorist') attack to manufacture European and US (public) support. Especially when they are involved too.

The Beaver


What was Jared doing in Riyadh?


As usual Ignatius likes to stretch things but Jared left on a commercial plane on a Wednesday and came back on a Saturday to celebrate his wife birthday. He did not go to Israel and his two compères Dina Powell and Greenblatt.

The Beaver

@ J

His speech :


plus on the right hand side tab: Live News , you have all the key points as he was speaking ( you have to scroll down) .

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