The U.S.-backed Lebanese army launched a long-awaited offensive on Saturday against Islamic State militants holed up in a remote stretch of northeastern Lebanon, just as a separate offensive by the Hezbollah militia and the Syrian army got underway right across the border in Syria.
The offensive is the biggest military operation launched by the Lebanese army since the Syrian rebels and extremists began infiltrating parts of northeastern Lebanon after the outbreak of war in Syria in 2011, and, if successful, will enable Lebanon to reassert control over all of its borders.
The battle is fraught with sensitivities, however, because of the dueling roles played by the U.S.-backed Lebanese force and Iran-backed Hezbollah, which operate alongside one another as both allies and rivals in Lebanon’s complicated political landscape. Hezbollah is a partner in Lebanon’s coalition government, from which the Lebanese army takes its orders.
But their sponsors put them at opposite ends of a wider spectrum of geopolitical rivalries playing out in Lebanon and across the Middle East — between the United States and Iran.
Read the whole story from The Washington Post.
Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia
PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO CONTINUE READING.
Your subscription is important and supports our editorial integrity and our 100% veteran writing team. Advertisers these days are afraid of being associated with controversial news outlets, like us, that take a stand. Your subscription is vital to ensuring we can continue to publish the courageous apolitical news we are known and respected for as former combat veterans.Subscribe or login