Iran Is Dragging Lebanon into War

The leader of an influential Shi’ite militia group from Iraq has claimed to be on Lebanon’s border with the Israel-controlled Golan Heights.Qais al-Khazali, head of the Iranian Quds Force-funded Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, appeared in an undated video broadcast in Arabic media claiming to show the Iraqi visiting near the Golan Heights, which are on the Israel-Syria-Lebanon border and under Israeli control.

“This is Golan. It is nearly 10 kilometers from here,” someone tells Khazali in a Shami accent of Arabic.

The visit of Khazali, head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militia, to the Lebanon-Israel border is a dangerous development in the context of the regional conflict. The leader of Iraqi militia is involved in an Iranian mission to ignite a battle between Lebanon and Israel, Arab News reports. Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi PMF are both militias affiliated to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Why has Khazali, the leader of the Iraqi militia, visited Kafr Kila on the Lebanese border with Israel, wearing a military uniform, while the Syrian-Israeli borders were closer for him as his militias are located there alongside the rest of PMF in Syria? This is not a threatening message but rather a provocative act that aims to expand the circle of war to include Lebanon.

Khazali knows that, if he visits the occupied Syrian Golan to deliver his message threatening Israel, he will most likely be targeted by Israeli forces, given that Syria is an open battlefield for all forces. Iran has sent Khazali to Lebanon because it wants to drag the country into a new war with Israel, which has previously threatened to launch an attack against Lebanon’s Hezbollah, similar to that of 2006.

The war in 2006 was also an Iranian-plotted operation, in which an Israeli soldier was abducted with no plans to release him amid tensions with Iran.

Hamas, like Hezbollah, is also a group run by Iran. When former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak succeeded in negotiating the exchange of Israeli prisoner Gilad Shalit with 1,000 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons, the Syrians, who represent Iran, thwarted the release of prisoners.

Then Hezbollah tried to kidnap Israeli soldiers near the Lebanese borders and the latter were killed during the operation. Israel then launched its war against Hezbollah. This was actually Iran’s aim as the war destroyed most of Lebanon’s infrastructure and destroyed the Lebanese people’s hopes of salvation from war while Hezbollah’s forces simply went underground.

Iran is now plotting the same thing all over again. It has been trying for a while to open a new war front through Lebanon to avoid facing Israel in Syria after its militias were struck there several times. Iran believes that Lebanon is a fragile land; a state with no real central government. The Lebanese foreign minister’s recent statement threatening Israel and the U.S. only echoes Iran’s rhetoric which the majority of the Lebanese people can never accept. In his statement, which has been ridiculed by the entire world, he said:

“We, in Lebanon, do not evade our destiny to confront and resist until martyrdom. Jerusalem is part of our identity. We only live as free men and as revolutionaries against every invader.”

This is definitely not the Christian minister’s rhetoric or words. He spoke as if he just exited Hassan Nasrallah’s office. The current Lebanese government has reached this extent of submission and decline! The government has thus become capable of sacrificing its sovereignty and now accepts to sacrifice its own citizens to serve an agenda dictated on it by a foreign party!

It’s a hijacked state that cannot acknowledge the true nature of its situation. Now that Iran dominates Syria, Lebanon’s situation became linked to the results and agreements of war. Tehran’s domination has also increased as it now dares send its militias and their leaders to borders with Israel in an attempt to trigger a new war. We are thus faced with a new phase of Lebanon’s political life as the Islamic Republic of Iran is now managing the country’s affairs – as seen by the visit to the southern borders and by the foreign minister’s speech. This phase will end at the altar of regional conflicts.