Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused the Lebanese military of becoming inextricably-linked to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia, while emphasizing that the reality with which Israel had to deal with in recent years has completely changed because of the chaos raging across the region, including the fact that Lebanon and Syria have become completely-intertwined in their destiny. Minister Lieberman warned, “As I said, we must prepare for any possible scenario and also to the new reality that prepares for us new challenges. If once we talked about the Lebanon Frontier, it doesn’t exist anymore, now we are confronted with a northern Frontier, and any development that will take place we will face one (northern) frontier. Syria and Lebanon together. Hezbollah, Assad’s regime, and all the backers of the Assad regime. Also with regard to Lebanon’s frontier, it isn’t only about Hezbollah, we are talking about Hezbollah and the Lebanese military. Regrettably, this is the reality. Lebanon has become an integral part in Hezbollah’s network, under Hezbollah’s command,” the Israeli to defense official alleged.
In an address to IDF soldiers at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, Lieberman stressed that preparation for the next round of conflict was of paramount importance, because Israel will have to deal with several frontiers at the same time, as was the case in the most challenging conflicts the Jewish State had to deal with during its early history. He said, “During the next conflagration, and it doesn’t matter where it will take place, north or south, it will immediately become a conflict on two frontiers. A conflict on one frontier doesn’t exist anymore. This is our basic belief and for that we are preparing the military,” Lieberman asserted.
In response to the Israeli top defense official, a Lebanese military official rejected the allegations, emphasizing that Lieberman’s comments were totally detached from reality.” The Lebanese official stressed that “The Lebanese Army has full independence and is subject to the decisions of the political government in Beirut.” The Lebanese official further took the opportunity to warn Israel to avoid launching any military adventures in Lebanon, declaring the “Lebanese Army has proven its readiness to defend the eastern border against terror (after defeating the Islamic State in that area) and it is also ready to defend (Lebanon’s) southern border if Israel decides to start a war of any kind.”