Hezbollah rules out escalation of violence with Israel

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta

Sheikh Naim Qassem, the deputy leader of Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah movement has ruled out any escalation of violence between the Iran-backed movement and Israel.

Since last week, Israel’s frontiers with Syria and Lebanon has been tension fraught following claim by Hezbollah militias that an Israeli strike claimed the life of one of its fighters along Damascus.

In an interview with al Mayadeen, a pro-Damascus television station, on Sunday 26th July 2020, Qassem said there was no any sign of war at the moment.

He also added that there was no any possibility of war happening in few months to come.

“The atmosphere does not indicate a war … It’s unlikely, the atmosphere of war in the next few months,” Qassem said.

What seemed to have triggered fears over possible escalation in violence was the 2019 incident in Damascus in which two of Hezbollah members were killed which made Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militia vowed that there would be retaliation if Israel again killed any more of his fighters in Syria.

In recent months, Israel has doubled number of strikes on Syria which several Western intelligence sources said has the approval of the Washington. It is said that this has undermined Iran’s military power in the region.

In 2011, following protests against President Bashar al-Assad, Hezbollah deployed fighters in Syria as support for Bashar al-Assad.

In the past few months, Israel has hit several bases in eastern, central and southern Syria most of which are believed to be strongholds for several Iranian-backed militias, according to some intelligence sources.

According to some analysts, given unprecedented rise in regional tensions at the moment, Hezbollah and Israel have no intention to engage in any form of conflict.

It is also said that both sides are more than willing to keep the 2006 rules of engagement that was drawn up following a one-month war between Israel and the Iran-backed movement.

While speaking about their intention to keep the rules of engagement, Qassem said, “There is no change of rules of engagement and the deterrent equation with Israel exists and we are not planning to change it.”

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