July 12, 2006, marked the beginning of the Second Lebanon War between Israel and the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Now a decade later, The Jerusalem Post's Ariel Ben Solomon looks at the lingering effects of that conflict, as well as what the future holds for the next one:
As the 10th anniversary of the July 2006 Lebanon War approaches, tensions remain high in Lebanon in anticipation of a next round, which could much more severely disrupt the country as a functioning state this time around.
Due to regional and internal political conditions in Lebanon, that country would fare far worse after a devastating round of Israeli attacks targeting Hezbollah and state infrastructure.
Lebanon is already suffering a refugee crisis with 1.5 million Syrians among its population of 4.5 million, giving the country the highest per capita refugee count in the world, according to a New York Times report earlier this month.
In addition, Hezbollah’s war to prop up Syrian President Bashar Assad has led to a spillover of the sectarian conflict into the country.
Moreover, Hezbollah is more powerful inside the country now than it was in 2006 – so much so that Saudi Arabia has cut off military aid and the Gulf states have imposed sanctions on Hezbollah.
Tony Badran, a Lebanon expert and research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Jerusalem Post in addition to the refugee situation resulting from the ongoing war in Syria, “the level of destruction during the next war with Hezbollah promises to be even greater than in 2006, as Hezbollah military infrastructure is dispersed in civilian areas, which will now be treated as military targets..."