The collective wisdom is that Hezbollah is too caught up with supporting the Assad government’s fight against ISIS to attack Israel, but Hezbollah’s penetration of Israel’s airspace in the Golan yesterday using a drone, may be an indication that things are about to change.
The IDF fired two Patriots at the drone and missed their target. The drone made it back to its origin in Syria. For Hezbollah, drones are a perfect form of both psychological warfare and reconnaissance. The important question is whether this is more of the same from Hezbollah or should Israel be prepared for renewed combat against Hezbollah.
In the last year the area West of the Golan has been the scene of warfare between Jihadist like Al-Nusra or ISIS and Hezbollah and Syrian Government Forces. There have been stray shells that penetrated the Golan and other incidents, but Hezbollah until recently has stayed focused on extraditing the Assad regime from the grips collapse.
The ramifications of renewed fighting between Hezbollah and Israel could be wide. The IDF will have to contend with Iranian troops as well as the Syrian army which is looking to raise morale. Fighting the “Zionists” is an excellent way to do that. The real unknown is Russia’s reaction. Putin has taken a liking to Israel and wants it within his sphere of influence, yet is fully aware that he has supported Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria in their fight against ISIS. At some point Putin will have to make a decision on which party to support for the long term. Renewed combat between Israel and Hezbollah will bring that decision to the forefront.