International Business Times quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Bilal Y. Saab on the recent raid Israel carried out on senior Hezbollah figures:
The militant organization may have a strong record of retaliation against Israel in cases like these, but the Syrian conflict has transformed the group and made it more cautious, said Bilal Saab, a senior fellow for Middle East security at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. “This is a new Hezbollah; ever since [its] entry into Syria, the organization has been overstretched militarily and on the defensive politically,” he said.
According to Saab, the heated rhetoric by Hezbollah operatives in the wake of the attack is more geared toward audiences at home than Israel. Instead, the organization is keenly aware of the consequences of an irresponsible military response to the strike, something that would be “absolutely destructive” for the group and its Shiite constituency in Lebanon, he said.
A monthlong war that erupted between the militant organization and Israel in 2006 resulted in at least 1,109 mainly civilian deaths in Lebanon, along with widespread destruction of homes and villages across the country, according to Human Rights Watch. The memory of that war is still fresh in the minds of Hezbollah’s leadership, alongside practical considerations of its capabilities given the Syrian conflict, said Saab.