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October 5, 2016 2:37 pm

Druze IDF Commander: ‘Only Matter of Time Before Next War in Lebanon’

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Col. Rassan Alian Photo: IDF Spokesperson

Col. Rassan Alian Photo: IDF Spokesperson

It is only a matter of time before the next war in Lebanon breaks out, a top IDF officer told Israel’s Channel 2 on Wednesday.

Brigadier General Rassan Alian, newly appointed to serve as chief of infantry and paratroopers, said that such a war “won’t necessarily begin in Israel; events on other fronts are liable to spur it.”

According to Channel 2, Alian is the highest-ranking Druze officer in the Israeli military, with perhaps the exception of others whose names and ranks have not been disclosed. Previously commander of the Golani Brigade, Alian led battles during Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s war against Hamas in the summer of 2014.

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As The Algemeiner reported at the time, he lost 13 of his fighters and sustained light to moderate wounds in fierce fighting in northern Gaza’s Shuja’iya neighborhood, a Hamas stronghold and the source of no less than 10 tunnels and some 140 rocket attacks against Israel.

As a result of his injuries, his command was given to someone else and he now serves along Israel’s northern border.

Alian said on Wednesday that “many aspects of the Gaza arena are relevant to that of Lebanon,” and the lessons he learned from the southern front — such as the need to “understand the enemy’s tactics and honed skills” — are crucial in the north, as well.

Another issue he raised was his concern for the Druze community in Syria, which has been caught in the crosshairs of the civil war that has been raging there for more than five years.

“I expect Israel to do whatever it can on their behalf,” he said. “I think that the state will know what to do and how to do it.”

As was reported in The Algemeiner in August, in a televised address marking the 10th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said his organization had rockets that could “strike anywhere in Israel.”

Nasrallah also claimed that the Shiite terrorist group’s persistence during the 34-day conflict in 2006 had undermined the Israeli defense establishment and “the Israeli public has lost faith in the military and political leadership of the Zionist entity.”

The first Israeli war in Lebanon took place in 1982.

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