Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :
Hanna Saleh

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : ‘Joint Operations Room’, ‘War of Attrition’... to What End?

The second centenary since the establishment of Greater Lebanon began while the country is facing the challenge of disintegration and extinction. Before the October 2023 war, it was pushed into a dangerous tunnel, as a result of control imposed under the pressure of factional weapons and “arrangements” hatched by Hezbollah with its partners in the spoils-based quota system, which covered plunder in exchange for kidnapping the state, in favor of a sectarian-military force that has its own alternative project.
At the end of the eighth month of the “distraction” war, which turned South Lebanon into a belt of fire in a scorched land, the country became like a person sentenced to death and awaiting the execution of the verdict!
Before the October War, pictures of the cities, towns, streets of the Gaza Strip and its camps showed apparent vitality, urbanism, and relative prosperity that were remarkable to observers, despite the unjust Israeli siege and internal tyranny. Under the brutal war and genocide, they were transformed into violated, infested cities, in which there is no safety or security, and which are unfit for human habitation. What about tomorrow?
What about the day after the war of uprooting and destruction? Every war has an end. The war that began on October 7 is no different, especially since it will not result in a clear victory despite the dominance of Zionist power.
Benny Gantz threatens to overthrow the war government because its leader, Netanyahu, refuses to discuss the “next day” .
In reality, the war ended in the sense of widespread military confrontations after it resulted in a serious genocide. It revealed to wide circles around the world the extent of Israeli brutality, which changed many convictions, even if they have not yet turned into official policies. There is no change in the general picture for an ambush here and another there. A few missiles target the surrounding settlements and even Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu does not discuss the matter because, on the one hand, he has not disclosed an exit strategy, and on the other, he wants the war to last until after the US elections, which inevitably postpones the judgment from which he will not be able to escape.
He takes advantage of an ambush, and bets on a Katyusha rockets, to spread claims about continuing to eradicate the capabilities of Hamas. The Zionist killing machine claims that scorching a refugee camp in Rafah and burning children to death is because it is a “Hamas” camp, before the facts slap it in the face so it retreats in a maneuver with clear goals.
Today, there are those who have provided him with a “joint operations room” from Rafah to South Lebanon and Yemen, and a “war of attrition.” Internal mobilization continues for the sake of a destructive plan that puts the Palestinians before a “transfer” scenario that recalls the dangers of 1948! So why worry about the “next day”?
In Lebanon, Hezbollah insists on linking the fate of the South to Gaza, and practically the fate of all of Lebanon. No Lebanese answer is given regarding “the next day.”
After Nasrallah’s meeting with Hamas Political Council member Khalil al-Hayya, his circles spoke of “a joint operations room from Gaza and Rafah to the South and Yemen.” The goal was “to exhaust the enemy” and inflict unforeseen losses on it.
The losses are real, with the enemy recently admitting that 950 homes were hit. But the attrition is causing disaster and calamity in Lebanon, with about two thousand homes destroyed out of about 10,000 that were damaged, turning the villages into scorched land.
It can be said that dozens of towns on the border strip would be impossible to rebuild even if the capabilities were available. The most dangerous thing is that they may not be livable for a long time as a result of contamination with toxins from phosphorus bombs and unexploded missiles! They intentionally ignore every reference to the reality of the situation in the south of the Litani, in terms of crushing urbanization and destroying the infrastructure of the agricultural economy in the region. They also neglect to mention the repercussions on the citizens, the South, and the country.
However, what will eventually result from this war of attrition, where the enemy has the initiative, superiority, and security and intelligence breakthroughs?
Sheikh Naeem Qassem says: The longer the war lasts, we will be ready to declare victory (...) because according to the axis of resistance, the goal of the war of attrition is to advance a new step on the path of a new “divine victory”?
“Divine victory” after the 2006 war was translated into the annihilation of power: the occupation of Beirut and Hezbollah seizing the famous “army, people, and resistance,” as well as the “obstructing third,” which gave it the “right” to veto state decisions, and paved the way for the presidential settlement in 2016.
Being the party that made concessions regarding wealth and sovereignty in the maritime demarcation, it is betting on the “Berri-Hochstein path” for arrangements that guarantee the security of settlers in northern Israel, as happened in the “Karish” gas field, and ending the presidential vacancy, on the basis of shifting balances of power in its favor...
In other words, despite the destruction, blood, and massive displacement, “victory” was achieved inside Lebanon, and the requested price may formally take into account the rights of the sects and the shares of their leaders! But it will impose a radical change to the configuration of the regime, the distribution of positions, and the creation of some of them, which means that Hezbollah’s title for the new phase is “reassurance,” which is secure when the political, security, defense, and financial decisions are under its control, and Iranian hegemony subsequently becomes entrenched!