Israel's Next War Will Be Fought Against Both Hezbollah and Hamas, Defense Minister Says

The Lebanese army has 'become and integral part of Hezbollah,' Avigdor Libeberman says

Hezbollah fighter walks near a military tank in Western Qalamoun, Syria August 23, 2017.
Hezbollah fighter walks near a military tank in Western Qalamoun, Syria August 23, 2017. OMAR SANADIKI/REUTERS

The next war will be fought on two fronts, with Hezbollah along Israel's northern border and Gaza in the south regardless of where the initial conflict begins or what causes it, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday. 

“There are no more one-front wars. That is our basic assumption. That is what we are preparing the military for,” Lieberman told soldiers at the Israeli army's headquarters in Tel Aviv as he hosted them for an event called, "The Defense Minister's Sukkah" to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. .

Lieberman spoke of the importance of preparing for various scenarios, warning the next conflict with Lebanon would also involve Syria.

"If once we talked about the Lebanon front then there is no longer such a front it will be one front of Syria and Lebanon together, Hezbollah, the Assad regime and all the collaborators of the Assad regime,” said Lieberman.

He also said the Lebanese army had been co-opted by Hezbollah. 

“The Lebanese army has become an integral part of the Hezbollah force and under its command. The Lebanese army has lost its independence and become an inseparable part of the Hezbollah force,” he added.

Lieberman has also raised  his concerns about the Lebanese army in meetings with the U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis. In recent years, the United States has given American weapons and other aid  to the Lebanese army.