debkafile reports: The Lebanon ceasefire and UN resolution 1701 face their do-or-die test Sunday

Our military sources report that the units which deployed along the Israeli border Friday will over the weekend get settled in regional command centers. So far, Lebanese officers have shown a strong tendency to keep out of the way of trouble with the Hizballah forces heavily present in South Lebanon.
The 6th Brigade responsible for the Western Sector established its command post at Naqura close to the protective presence of the UNIFIL command.
The 11th Brigade rewrote its plan for a command post at Bint Jubeil to avoid clashing with the large Hizballah presence there. The post went up in Tibnine instead. The 9th Brigade was to have moved into the southern neighborhoods of Beirut Thursday, Aug. 17. To avoid this Hizballah-dominated sector, the contingent moved to the seam-line between S. Beirut and the Chouf Mountains instead.
debkafile‘s military sources add: The Lebanese commanders in the south know that Hizballah units will have no qualms about pulling out and using their weapons and anti-tank rockets if challenged in their village-strongholds. The soldiers are therefore avoiding tests of will.
If Hizballah blinks first, small Lebanese units will take charge of those strongholds and posts, some of which are right on the Israeli border. It is the Lebanese army’s primary mission to occupy those villages and posts, which Israel destroyed, to secure the Lebanese-Israeli border. However, if they shy away from deploying in these villages, they will not be able to secure the border and it will revert to Hizballah control.
How the Lebanese army handles itself starting next Sunday is the key to the ceasefire’s durability and the sustainability of the UN’s Lebanon resolution. Standing by and waiting to see if Lebanese units go through with their mission are the various governments which have offered troops to the expanded UNIFIL force.
This international force therefore stands or falls by the Lebanese army’s willingness to challenge Hizballah.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Font Resize
Contrast