IRGC Quds Force chief ‘on the ground’ in Lebanon: Report

The Cradle, October 31, 2023 —

The Quds Force chief has maintained a constant presence in Lebanon, and is coordinating with Hezbollah on the southern front against Israel.

The commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) elite Quds Force, Esmail Qaani, is “on the ground” in Lebanon and has been coordinating with Hezbollah, informed sources told UK-based outlet, Amwaj Media

According to the sources, Qaani arrived in Lebanon one day after the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October. 

They added that he left Lebanon for meetings between 16 and 20 October and has “since maintained a constant presence” in the country, where the “focus of his mission …  is to help coordinate a possible broader confrontation with Israel.” 

Following his return to Lebanon, Qaani met with the leaders of Hezbollah and the Palestinian factions based in Lebanon, “conveying messages from Iran’s Supreme Leader.” 

However, Amwaj Media cites a senior security official as saying that Hezbollah Secretary-General, Hassan Nasrallah, is the one “really calling the shots.”

Last week, Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah confirmed that Nasrallah is “actively monitoring” and supervising the southern Lebanese front against Israel. 

“While the [Joint Operations Room of the Resistance Axis] is nominally led by the Quds Force, Nasrallah appears to be in charge of what may come next on the border between Israel and Lebanon,” Amwaj Media writes. 

During the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, former Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani was on the ground with Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon. 

Since 7 October and the launch of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, Hezbollah has launched daily attacks on Israeli military sites, outposts, and surveillance towers. Dozens of Israeli soldiers have been killed or wounded, and at least 15 Merkava tanks destroyed.

Hezbollah’s attacks are being carried out in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance. According to The Cradle’s Hasan Illaik, these attacks have succeeded in essentially wiping out much of the surveillance equipment Israel has amassed on the Lebanese border over the years.

The Lebanese resistance has documented these attacks with videos that they are periodically releasing on their media page. 

The latest attack was launched at noon on 31 October. 

“At (12:22) noon on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, after careful monitoring of the occupation forces on the border by the Mujahideen of the Islamic Resistance, an ambush was laid for an Israeli force positioned on Al-Khazzan Hill in the vicinity of the Al-Asi site,” a Hezbollah statement said on Tuesday. 

The fighters targeted the force “with guided missiles, which led to direct hits and all of its members being killed or wounded.” 

After Israel announced expanding limited ground incursions into Gaza last week, the army is now attempting to advance deeper into the besieged strip, engaging in fierce clashes with the Palestinian resistance. 

Many are concerned, in line with what analysts have said, that a full Israeli ground invasion will trigger direct involvement in the war by the Axis of Resistance. This would see Hezbollah fully and officially open up the southern front against Israel and would see involvement from several other factions and players, including Iran.

Nasrallah is set to give a heavily anticipated speech on 3 November. 

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