US offers $12 million for Hezbollah operatives

Wednesday, 11 Oct, 2017

The U.S. State Department Tuesday announced multimillion-dollar rewards for information leading to the arrest of two senior Hezbollah commanders.

USA counterterrorism officials told a State Department briefing they believe Hezbollah wants to develop the capacity to strike inside the United States and they continue to see activity on behalf of the group in America. "Hezbollah is determined to give itself a potential [U.S.] homeland option as a critical component of its terrorism playbook".

The Lebanon-based Islamist organization has operatives engaging in terror activities around the world and has received aid from Iran.

The Lebanese army has previously said it operates independently from Hizbollah, most recently during an operation against the Daesh terror group militants at the Lebanese-Syrian border, during which the army said there was absolutely no coordination with Hizbollah fighters who attacked Daesh from the Syrian side.

Counterterror officials also worry that Hezbollah has successfully expanded its arsenal of advanced rockets and missiles, while building its own weapon production facilities.

It describes his unit as the ESO as "the Hezbollah element responsible for the planning, coordination, and execution of terrorist attacks outside of Lebanon". Top counterterror officials say they have seen no direct correlation between the deal and Hezbollah's activities. He added that "there is no longer one campaign on one front, this is our fundamental assumption, that is what we are preparing the army for".

Tuesday marked 20 years since the USA designated Hezbollah a foreign terrorist group.

But this summer President Donald Trump seemed to misunderstand the role played by Hezbollah in Lebanon's complex politics.

On Tuesday, Sales forcefully rejected the notion that Hezbollah can be separated into its political and military wings. "It is a single organization, a terrorist organization, and it is rotten to its core", he argued.

Israel's Defence Minister has said that the next war waged on Israel's northern front will not only be against Hezbollah in Lebanon, but also Syria, and hostilities will also include the Gaza Strip.

Israel said on Tuesday that the Hizbollah guerrilla group, its most potent enemy in neighbouring Lebanon, had gained control over that country's US-sponsored conventional military, signalling both would be in Israeli gunsights in any future war.

The situation grew more complicated Tuesday, when Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman made global headlines by claiming that Hezbollah has grown so strong in Lebanon that neighboring Israel now believes the group actually controls the Lebanese Army.

Israel's latest hype surrounding Hezbollah included claims Hezbollah "runs the Lebanese Army".