Beirut, Paris, Damascus, Asharq Al-Awsat – Tensions have escalated along the Israeli-Lebanese border as the Israeli army carried out drills on the northern frontier.
Well-informed Lebanese sources confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that there is a state of alert within the Hezbollah ranks as Israeli troops were called up to the northern borders to carry out “military maneuvers”. The Lebanese sources added that Hezbollah called on its cadres to be on full alert in case Israel launches a surprise attack targeting Hezbollah’s bases and posts.
A Hezbollah source told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Israel has accustomed us to aggression and we are used to being vigilant and on the lookout all the time. That is what we are doing.” The source refused to confirm or deny whether Hezbollah is on full alert [at present]. Other sources mentioned that Syria had begun calling up troops from the Fourth Reserve, which includes workers living in Lebanon.
Syrian sources told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Syria opposes any aggression against any Arab country, especially Lebanon.”
A senior Israeli army officer spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat and denied what had been published in Lebanon about Israel’s intentions of carrying out a military assault, asserting that Israel has no intention whatsoever to launch an offensive on Lebanon.
Asked about such Israeli threats, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, in Paris, said that “France does not expect that there will be an Israeli military offensive” at present. However, Kouchner expressed fears that “some Iranian leaders” might deliberately try to escalate the situation in south [Lebanon].