Report: Israel, U.S. Preparing Simultaneous Hezbollah Strikes

YERUSHALAYIM -
Supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah wave Hezbollah and Lebanese flags in Bint Jbeil, southern Lebanon. (Reuters/Aziz Taher, File)

Israel and the United States are planning a joint operation against Hezbollah targets in Syria and Lebanon, a report in the Lebanese Al-Liwa newspaper said on Tuesday. The attacks will be carried out by the air forces of the two countries simultaneously, with the United States hitting Hezbollah targets in Syria, and Israel bombing Hezbollah installations in Lebanon, the report said.

The purpose of the attacks is to deal a mortal blow to Hezbollah’s military infrastructure. Targets include weapons storehouses, training areas, military barracks and installations, etc. Israel will also attack Lebanese Army installations, because, the report said, the U.S. considers Lebanese President Michel Ayoun to be an “ally and facilitator” of Hezbollah.

Last year, the Gulf Cooperation Council labeled Hezbollah a terror group, and the group was prominently framed as such in President Trump’s speech to Arab and Muslim leaders in Riyadh on Sunday. The attack was discussed with several Arab leaders at the Arab Islamic-American Summit, which Mr. Trump was attending, the report said, adding that Israel will conduct a “lightning strike,” sending planes in and out of Lebanon quickly.

The attack, said the report, is part of “Trump’s strategy” to unite moderate players in the Middle East into a coalition that will fight terror, and to reduce the influence of Iran, Hezbollah’s main backer, in the region. Mr. Trump, the report added, is seeking to set up a “Middle Eastern NATO,” with U.S. bases at strategic sites to help defend members of the coalition from Iran.