Thre reelection of U.S. President Donald Trump on November 3 could trigger Iran and it's Lebanese proxy Hezbollah to launch an attack on Israel, says former Israeli ambassador to the United States.
Michael Oren, who served as the envoy during the administration of Presient Barack Obma believes the IDF should be factoring in Iran’s reaction to the re-election of Trump, who is currently trailing in polls to his Democratic challenger, former vice president Joe Biden.
On Sunday morning, the IDF launched its biggest military exercise of the year, focusing on the northern front and simulating a war with the Shi'te terror group. The drill is called “Lethal Arrow” and is expected to end on Thursday afternoon.
“Hezbollah takes its orders from Iran who is waiting to see how the election will turn out," says Oren. "If Donald Trump wins, Iran can do one of two things: It can negotiate under Trump’s humiliating terms or it can pick a fight with Israel, if it picks a fight with Israel, [Israel] is going to pick a fight with Hezbollah."
According to Oren, Hezbollah has some 130,000 rockets "buried under 200 villages in southern Lebanon, and the only way to eliminate that threat would be to go village to village, house to house. And that’s what [the Israeli soldiers] are training for."
Despite being scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lethal Arrow remains the largest IDF drill of 2020, and includes thousands of troops from different branches of the military. According to an IDF statement, the exercise is following strict health regulations d the coronavirus pandemic.
The drill comes after the IDF canceled its annual general staff “Keystone” exercise, originally scheduled for September, because of the health crisis.
Military analysts point out that the drill has been in the works for a long time and is not in response to any specific threat.
“At least once a year there is a major drill. Sometimes with the forces, sometimes without forces like the present one, which is mostly simulation,” says Dr. Meir Elran, a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
“It has nothing to do with the external situation, with any military tension that goes on around Israel. It has to be taken as a regular drill and not a consequence of any specific or urgent needs.”
Article written by Joshua Robbin Marks, published with permission from The Media Line