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Southern Lebanon Becomes Tehran’s Mailbox, Several Messages Sent in Past Days

Southern Lebanon Becomes Tehran’s Mailbox, Several Messages Sent in Past Days

Wednesday, 13 December, 2017 - 06:45
Hezbollah supporters carry the coffins of fighters killed in an assault led by the group on extremists in the mountainous Jurud Arsal region on the Lebanon-Syria border during their funeral in a southern suburb of Beirut on July 31, 2017. AFP

Tehran has turned the southern Lebanese borders in the past few days into its own mailbox, from where Iran is sending direct messages to several parties.

It looks that after the end of military operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the Iranian axis decided to anticipate the political operation by trying to revive the file of the Palestinian case in an attempt to give its wings, mainly Hashd al-Shaabi and Hezbollah, a new role in the region.

A video spread last week on social media websites showed the leader of the Iraqi paramilitary group Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Qais al-Khazali touring the southern Lebanese borders. Another video spread Sunday also showed two members from “Saraya al-Islam” in southern Lebanon. Both groups are part of Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi factions.

Sources from the “March 8” forces, which are close to “Hezbollah” disclaimed the Saraya al-Islam video and uncovered to Asharq Al-Awsat that it was deliberately leaked.

The sources confirmed that the man had entered Lebanon with an Iraqi passport.

Concerning the message that al-Khazali’s video intended to send, the sources recalled a previous speech by "Hezbollah" secretary general Hassan Nasrallah in which he had warned that the entire forces of the axis would participate in any future war with Israel.

When asked about the dissociation policy lately approved by the government, the sources said: “What dissociation when we talk about Israel? The entire axis will fight Israel and the border will be open in a future confrontation.”

Founder and director of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA), Riad Kahwaji said that through the videos, Tehran sent a direct message to Israel and informed Tel Aviv that all Iranian-linked forces are now positioned at the Israeli northern border.

“Iran wanted to make clear that the scene of confrontation now stretches from Syria to Lebanon,” Kahwaji told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He added that Tehran was currently using the US decision concerning Jerusalem to show that its axis was the only force ready to defend the Palestinian people and to fight Israel.

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