Friday, May 14, 2010

The Current Mobilization of Hezbollah

Alarmingly, retired Major General Paul E. Vallely has suggested that the Lebanese Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah, a proxy of the Iranian government, is rapidly mobilizing in preparation for either a pre-emptive strike or a retaliatory strike against Israel.

In an interview conducted by Bill Whittle on PJTV, General Vallely argued that reports indicated that a Russian manufactured Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine, probably originating from the Baltic fleet, recently docked at Beirut, Lebanon while hoisting an Iranian flag and that "the off-loaders had gas masks on and hazmat gear indicating to me that some form of chemical weapons were being off-loaded from the submarine to the control of Hezbollah." Furthermore, Vallely claimed that recent reports indicated that advanced Scud missiles have been shipped from Syria to Hezbollah-controlled areas of southern Lebanon. According to Vallely, estimates of the quantity of missiles and rockets positioned within southern Lebanon place the number between 50,000 to 60,000. Moreover, Vallely cited the existence of tunnels, the Naqoura tunnels to be exact, that cross the northern Israeli border from southern Lebanon and that allow insurgents to penetrate into Israel.

According to J.E. Dyer, if Vallely's claim regarding the Baltic origination of the Kilo submarine is correct, then its probably the case that the submarine was a Kilo export model coming from Algeria. Dyer asserts that, "Algeria has two older Kilos from then-Soviet Russia, and in 2006 commissioned two new ones, of improved design (the Type 636 improvement on the old Type 877 Kilo)." He argues that the Kilo probably did
not originate from the 3-Kilo strong Iranian fleet because:

-An Iranian Kilo could not transit the Suez Canal undetected,
-An Iranian Kilo could not circumnavigate Africa without refueling (again, its a diesel-electric sub) and refueling would make the sub vulnerable to surveillance,
-Chances are the Iranian navy would not commit a third of its submarine naval force to conduct such a operation in the face of militarily safer alternatives; embarking upon such a mission would seriously reduce the ability of the Iranian navy to control the Persian Gulf in the event of a crisis.

The idea that the Russian government has been corroborating with the Iranian government to re-arm Hezbollah is entirely plausible, given the fact that the Kremlin has assisted the Iranians in the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant which is scheduled to go online this year.

This all makes for a potentially lethal confrontation that could, among other things, increase oil prices significantly.

Dyer, J. E. "Submarine Sneaks into Beirut? Why That’s Bad." Hot Air. 06 May 2010. Web. 13 May 2010.

-Former US General Warns of Chemical Attacks Against Israel
. PJTV. 06 May 2010. Web. 13 May 2010.

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