Operation Northern Shield was launched this past Tuesday a mere hours after Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benyamin Netanyahu met US Secretary of Defense Mike Pompeo in Brussels, Belgium where he discussed “a list of developments in the region” with the Secretary.
One of these developments is Iran’s increasing belligerent activity in Lebanon where it has built underground missile facilities which manufacture guided ballistic missiles.
The Iranians are now also supplying Hezbollah with weapons by using planes which fly directly to Beirut National Airport in Lebanon. The carrier uses civilian aircraft and is controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps which has apparently decided to change the supply routes to Hezbollah.
Before taking off from Ben Gurion National Airport, Netanyahu made clear Israel and The United States were now working in tandem to contain Iran’s “aggression”.
We are in continuous contact with our American friends, I will discuss with Mike Pompeo a list of developments in our region, and (actions) we are taking together to halt the aggression of Iran and its proxies in the North. We will of course also discuss other issues,” the Israeli PM told reporters.
On his visit to Brussels, where Pompeo attended a NATO defense ministers meeting, Netanyahu was accompanied by Mossad head Yossi Cohen and Meir Ben Shabbat the director of Israel’s National Security Council.
For this reason, Israel is working with the Trump Administration which has shifted its focus from battling ISIS toward containing Iran in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq
It is reasonable to believe that Netanyahu asked Pompeo to use his leverage over the Lebanese government to contain Hezbollah on the eve of Operation Northern Shield in order to prevent another war with the Iranian-backed Shiite terror organization.
Another indication the Israeli leader doesn’t want a war with Hezbollah currently is that he apparently ordered the IDF not to use explosives to destroy the attack tunnels underneath the Israeli border. The Israeli army is using heavy drill equipment instead.