" … According to the newspaper, Russia threatened to veto US and Israeli moves against Hezbollah as the UNSC weighed extending and expanding a mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The Russian side allegedly pushed to remove “the direct reference to Hezbollah as conducting prohibited military activity in southern Lebanon that is in violation of Resolution 1701.”
As a result the UNSC unanimously voted to renew Resolution 1701 last week but only after the US and Israel had agreed to remove paragraphs that were critical of Hezbollah.
The US-Israeli attempt to use the resolution to put an additional pressure on Hezbollah in southern Lebanon failed.
Haaretz linked this with the Russian involvement in the ongoing Syrian conflict where Moscow sided with the Assad government, Tehran and Hezbollah in a battle against ISIS and al-Qaeda.
The UNIFIL patrols Lebanon’s southern border with Israel where Hezbollah has a strong presence. The US and Israel describe Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the resolution and blamed Hezbollah for alleged arms trafficking in southern Lebanon. " SF & Haaretz
If you consider this in conjunction with a report a few days ago (link below) that stated a US willingness to see HB and other Iranian sponsored militias as close as 8 km from the Israeli defense lines on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, then the stage is set for a Russian – Israeli air/ air defense engagement.
Bibi evidently made a bad impression on Putin at Sochi last week.
Those who are familiar with HB behavior and the movement's overall strategic position vis a vis Israel will think it likely tat HB with Iranian assistance will begin to dig in and fortify these new positions in the same way that it fortified its Tabbouleh Line positions north of the Israeli-Lebanese border both before and after the 2006 war.
North of the Tabbouleh Line in Lebanon are somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 artillery rocket and guided missile weapons that could be fired into Israel at ranges as far down south as Tel Aviv. These are in shelters protected by various kinds of air defense weapons that would exact their pound of flesh from attacking Israeli aircraft. Whatever the Israelis do the majority of weapons could be fired into Israel before they could be destroyed.
As I have often written, the Israelis are unable to face the losses that would be taken in breaching the Lebanese Border defenses frontally and have harbored the concept of attacking across the Golan into Syria NW with a left turn into Lebanon to take the Lebanese HB positions in reverse. This was never a very good plan since the approach of Israeli forces from Syria would likely cause a salvo of weapons into civilian Israel.
Fortified HB positions east of the Golan would further degrade this operational possibility. Will Israel accept that? pl