On Tuesday, the White House made public data suggesting that a notorious Russian mercenary organization called the Wagner Group plans to provide Iran or its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah with cutting-edge air defense capabilities.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that intelligence suggests that Wagner, under the orders of the Russian government, was getting ready to provide Hezbollah or Iran with air defense capabilities. Kirby further said that the United States is prepared to utilize its counterterrorism measures on any Russian involved in these potentially disruptive transfers.
In early November, Wagner troops were preparing to provide Hezbollah with the Pantsir-S1, a mobile anti-aircraft rocket launcher, along with 30mm ammo. While speaking with reporters, White House spokeswoman Adrienne Watson expressed alarm about Russia’s meeting with Hamas leaders in Moscow and their refusal to denounce Hamas for the terrorist assault on Israel. This is happening at the same time as Russia is committing new crimes in Ukraine.
Near the Israeli-Lebanon border, fighting has been heating up since October 7. The Lebanese terrorist organization launched rocket strikes on civilian infrastructure in the middle of October, prompting Israel to evacuate significant areas of border settlements in the north.
While speaking at a Beirut gathering, the top Hezbollah leader threatened a strong reaction to any errors committed by the resistance. He said all the warships and weaponry are “no match for God,” and their “faith is stronger.” Protesters shouted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” according to international media. They brandished Palestinian and Hezbollah flags.
For a long time now, members of both Hezbollah and Wagner have been active in Syria, assisting the Assad administration in its struggle against the opposition. They have been collaborating with Syrian and Russian military forces. Although Hezbollah has started to withdraw its members from Syria in recent years, the organization continues to get support from Iran, an Assad supporter. There is evidence of increased coordination between Hezbollah and Wagner in Syria, according to a source familiar with Western intelligence.
A new front in Israel’s fight against Hamas might be opened on the northern border between Israel and Lebanon if Hezbollah is given a new air defense system, which raises suspicions that the terrorist group is planning to launch an attack. The United States has sent aircraft carriers and ground forces to the area to prevent a possible escalation of the conflict and has repeatedly cautioned Hezbollah and other organizations supported by Iran to stay out of it.