Hezbollah Moves to 'Minimize Losses' Amid Border Clashes
Israel-Lebanon Tensions Increase as War in Gaza Rages
In the past three weeks of border clashes between Israel and Hezbollah, dozens of fighters from the Lebanese terrorist group have been killed. As a result, Hezbollah is now taking measures to stem its losses and prepare for the possibility of a prolonged conflict, according to three sources familiar with the group's thinking.
Since the war between Israel and its Palestinian ally Hamas broke out on October 7, Hezbollah has lost 47 fighters to Israeli strikes at Lebanon's frontier. This accounts for about a fifth of the number of fighters killed during the full-scale war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006.
Most of Hezbollah's fighters have been targeted and killed in Israeli drone strikes. To counter this threat, Hezbollah recently unveiled its surface-to-air missile capability for the first time. The group claimed to have downed an Israeli drone on Sunday using these missiles.
While the Israeli military has not commented on the reported drone incident, Israel did announce on Saturday that it had intercepted a surface-to-air missile fired from Lebanon at one of its drones. In response, Israel struck the launch site.
One of the sources familiar with Hezbollah's thinking, reportedly told Reuters that the use of anti-aircraft missiles is just one of several steps taken by the Shi'ite Muslim group to reduce losses and counter Israeli drones. Hezbollah has made undisclosed arrangements to minimize casualties.
Hezbollah's leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, is scheduled to deliver a speech on Friday. This will be his first address since the Israel-Hamas war erupted. Sources familiar with Hezbollah's thinking say that the group's attacks have been carefully calibrated to contain clashes in the border zone since the Gaza conflict began. However, Hezbollah has also indicated its readiness for all-out war if necessary.
As the clashes at the border continue, Hezbollah is determined to minimize its losses and maintain its military capabilities. The use of surface-to-air missiles demonstrates the group's efforts to counter Israeli drones and protect its fighters. With Nasrallah's upcoming speech, the world will be watching to see how Hezbollah plans to navigate the current conflict with Israel and what steps it will take to ensure its survival.
As the situation unfolds, it is clear that Hezbollah remains a formidable force in the region, ready to defend its interests and retaliate against Israeli aggression. The coming days will reveal whether a full-scale war between Hezbollah and Israel can be averted or if tensions will escalate further.