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'Israel will need to show creativity in finding new operational tactics' against Hezbollah, says Saudi military pundit

Israeli soldiers patrol in the snow in Mount Hermon, near the Israeli border with Lebanon, northern Israel, November 20, 2023. (Photo: Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

A military commentator from Saudi Arabia said on Thursday that Israel has adopted a new strategy for deterrence in the conflict with Hezbollah and Iran.

“Israel was surprised by the extent of the tunnels in Gaza and the military methods [of Hamas,] and it has adopted a new strategy for regional deterrence,” Assad Awad said during his television appearance on the Saudi Kingdom's Al-Hadath channel.

During his segment, Awad focused on the current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah terror forces on the border with Lebanon. He said that in the initial stage of fighting, Israel destroyed Iranian weapons shipments.

“Israel severely hit Iranian shipment operations to the region and destroyed many weapon shipments that were on their way from Iran,” the military pundit said.

“In the next stage, warehouses in eastern Syria were attacked and destroyed. [The warehouses] contain[ed] weapons that could have been deployed to the border with Israel within hours. In fact, it undermined Iran's supply lines to Hezbollah and Iranian militias in the region,” Awad continued.

He said he believes Israel's measures may escalate efforts to destroy Hezbollah’s offensive capabilities against Israel.

“All these actions may serve as a prelude to more significant activities, which may include the destruction of Hezbollah tunnels or at least disrupting the fortifications along the border with Lebanon, stretching over 79 kilometers, as well as in the Golan Heights area, which is expected to be much more challenging,” Awad noted, calling the Golan Heights region “tough.”

“Geographically, the Golan Heights area – facing Shebaa Farms, is a tough terrain considered a Hezbollah stronghold. Israeli airstrikes will not be advantageous there, and Israel will need to show creativity in finding new operational tactics.”

Awad said Israel’s new Mountains Brigade, HeHarim in Hebrew, which is the border with Syria and Lebanon, will be deployed in the Mount Hermon and Mount Dov regions and begin its activity in the coming weeks, under the 210th “Bashan” Division, replacing the existing 810th “Hermon” Regional Brigade, the IDF announced last week.

According to Israel Defense Forces, the new brigade was formed in response to the situation on the northern border.

The brigade is “part of the operational response to the situation on the northern border and in accordance with the situational assessment,” the IDF stated, adding: “The brigade will specialize in combat in difficult terrain and warfare in mountainous areas.”

Awad said the Mountains Brigade forces are deeply familiar with Hezbollah’s tunnels.

“Forces in the Mountains Brigade participated in the 2006 war and come with a deep familiarity with Hezbollah's tunnels.”

“In recent weeks, Hezbollah has begun building tunnels from Syria to Lebanon, aiming to transfer weapons from the arsenals, but at this stage, there is no benefit in tunnels. I estimate 70% to 80% of the arsenals have been destroyed. This is expected to delay any plan Hezbollah seeks to implement, and this may be Israel's opportunity,” he concluded.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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