Sunday, March 23, 2008

Retaliation for Imad Mughniyah Assassination Soon?

Reuters: Hezbollah commander hailed as a martyr


Imad Mughniyah was Hezbollah’s military commander that was the mastermind of several of Hezbollah’s most successful operations starting in the 1980s. He was on the most wanted list in both the U.S. and Israel. February 12 he was assassinated via car bomb. No one has claimed responsibility, though Hezbollah blames Israel’s Mossad, the equivalent of the Israeli CIA. A 40 day mourning period then began, and is set to end tomorrow, when Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is expected to address thousands of followers at the event in Beirut's southern suburbs.

Will Hezbollah retaliate for the killing?
It is quite possible Hezbollah will retaliate. In 1992, after the Israeli assassination of Hezbollah leader Sayed Abbas al-Musawi, Hezbollah attacked the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Now that the 40 day mourning period is over, and Hezbollah cells have had time to collect information and to prepare for an attack, an incident is very likely.

Another all out Lebanon war?

Unlikely. The war conducted in the summer of 2006 was a huge failure for Israel. They are not likely to make the same mistake twice. Consider, as well, that they are bogged down fighting Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Anything the U.S. or Israel can do?
Stay alert, number one. Number two, don’t overreact. We don’t need another war in Lebanon.