The bombing this week of the Iranian embassy in Lebanon will likely spark increased activity by Hezbollah in Syrian border towns, says Institute for the Study of War (ISW) analyst Isabel Nassief. The ISW analyst points out that the attack was a reprisal for Iranian support for the government of Bashar al-Assad.
Iran is also the major sponsor for Hezbollah, and thus the militant organization is likely to respond to the provocation. Although sectarian tensions have been exacerbated by the involvement of Lebanese players such as Hezbollah in the Syrian conflict, none of the stakeholders wants to see an end to the truce that has preserved a semblance of stability in Lebanon. Therefore, Nassief argues, Hezbollah is likely to minimize violence in Lebanese territory. Nassief, who focuses on Syrian politics and security at ISW, speculates that a heavy security deployment by Hezbollah in Beirut is likely. While it is possible that Hezbollah could retaliate directly against areas supportive of the rebels in Lebanon, it is more probable that it will increase its tempo of operations in the Syrian border towns of Qalamoun.
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