The northern border officially went on high alert on Sunday. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s vow to Israel’s “provocations,” along with past experience, teach us that the Israeli attack (in Syria, and the one attributed to the IDF in Lebanon) – will not go unanswered. Iran and its emissaries will search for a way to deliver a blow to Israel in order to exact revenge for the humiliation they have suffered.

The Israeli attack in Syria, which kicked off the latest round of strikes, was inevitable. It was preceded by many weeks of intelligence surveillance of weaponry (Chinese-manufactured drones purchased by Iran and operated by its offshoots in Yemen, Iraq and now Syria), and members of a terrorist cell (Hezbollah fighters, who in this instance were acting at the orders and with the financing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force) that were supposed to operate said weaponry.

Last Thursday, the cell made its first attempt at launching the drones, which failed. The drones were supposed to either drop explosives on Israeli targets or serve as suicide drones and explode upon reaching their targets. From the Iranians’ perspective, this was supposed to serve as an act of revenge for the attacks attributed to Israel against its forces in Iraq.

On Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces explicitly and formally determined that the official who personally commanded and oversaw this mission was Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. While it is doubtful intelligence supporting this determination will be revealed to the public, it seems Soleimani was more involved than usual this time around, according to officials. It may be that the series of attacks on his men and arms shipments, and as a result his plans, were what led him to go out of his way to seek revenge.

This was the fourth time in the last 18 months in which Iran has tried to attack Israel openly and directly. Tehran’s previous attempts were either thwarted or intercepted, which indicates a high level of intelligence and an accurate and focused point of operation.

And yet, the working assumption should be that this time, too, Iran will not take this insult, which was exposed to the public, quietly. It will seek to respond, and it has a vast array of options at its disposal, from striking Israeli targets overseas (an unlikely scenario) to looking for available military targets on the northern border (a far more likely option), to do so.

The activity attributed to Israel in Beirut also brings Hezbollah, a far more dangerous and skilled enemy than the militias operated by the Quds Force, and the Lebanese border into the retaliatory equation.

Source » israelhayom