On Sunday, the Israeli army began “Deadly Arrow” maneuvers that “simulate a multi-front war with a focus on the northern front,” according to Israeli army spokesman Avichai Adraei.
Adraei identified “Lebanon and Syria” as a target for the maneuver that seeks to “raise the level of readiness” of the “regular and reserve forces, air, sea and land weapons, the intelligence agency, technological agencies, communications and protection in the cyber field.”
Today started an exercise#Arrow_KillerWhich simulates a multi-front war with a focus on the northern front (Lebanon and Syria), with the aim of raising the readiness and improving the offensive capabilities of the IDF at all levels, in an integrated manner while adopting a working method, to achieve victory with new mechanisms between the main headquarters.
– افيخاي ادرعی (@AvichayAdraee) October 25, 2020
Lebanese specialists and analysts said that the “timing of the maneuver” carries “political messages for Hezbollah and those who operate it.”
The Lebanese writer and political researcher, Luqman Salim, told Al-Hurra that “the implementation of the killer arrow maneuvers is a political message to those behind Hezbollah among its Iranian operators.”
Salim believes that the maneuvers are a “practical warning message” indicating to “Hezbollah and those behind Hezbollah,” to prevent them from any military action “to save face or to contain the hesitation and questions of their audience.”
Salim asked, “(in this case) does Hezbollah still have a military value after all that is happening in the region, whether in terms of normalization with Israel or the collapse of the Lebanese situation or in terms of the potential Israeli response to any action it takes?”
The writer expected that “Hezbollah will use the mole policy (waiting in safety) to bite its wounds while waiting for better conditions that would enable it to rebuild its image without pushing Israel” for a big response.
Other analysts indicated that the timing of the demonstrations, during negotiations conducted by Lebanon and Israel to demarcate the borders, reflects that “Hezbollah is in a critical situation,” says the Lebanese journalist Ali Al-Amin.
Al-Amin added to the Al-Hurra website that “the negotiation option reflects an Iranian retreat in the first place,” stressing that “the negotiation option came at a moment of weakness or a tactical or strategic retreat for Iran.”
According to Al-Amin, the “chances of war” are not great, although fears of a military action remain.
But El-Amin added, “Israel now gets what it wants without war, and it suggests that it has multiple means to strike Hezbollah, especially the mysterious bombings that take place in Lebanon and Iran.”
Al-Amin believes that “Hezbollah’s being drawn into confrontation will mean that it has lost all other options, lost its power and its role, and its war will be a war of despair, and this is an Iranian decision, not a Lebanese one.”
Lebanese activist and journalist, Charbel Odeh, believes that Israel is now “at its best” diplomatically, militarily and politically, and that any war with it “will not be the same as its predecessors.”
Odeh refers to the normalization agreements concluded by the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, which he said are a “big push for Israel and Netanyahu” in the region, and a great progress for Israel at a time when Iran is retreating “to a state that sponsors gangs and undermines legitimacy and stability in the region.”