Washington offers $12m rewards for two Hezbollah leaders

BEIRUT: The US offered multimillion-dollar rewards on Tuesday for two Hezbollah militia leaders.
The State Department said the government would pay up to $ 7 million for information leading to the arrest of Talal Hamiyah, head of the group’s external security organization, and up to $ 5m for Fuad Shukr, a top Hezbollah military operative.
Hamiyah is responsible for planning and executing Hezbollah’s terrorist activities outside Lebanon. He is suspected of involvement in the 1994 Hezbollah attacks in Argentina. Shukr runs the group’s military forces in southern Lebanon.
US counterterrorism officials said they believed Hezbollah wanted to develop the capacity to strike inside the US and they continue to see activity on behalf of the group in America.
The rewards were offered as Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Lebanese Army was now controlled by Hezbollah, and Israel would fight both in any future war.
“We are no longer talking about Hezbollah alone,” Lieberman told Israeli troops. “We are talking about Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army, and to my regret, this is the reality. The Lebanese Army has turned into an integral part of Hezbollah’s command structure. It has lost its independence and become an inseparable part of the Hezbollah apparatus.”
Lieberman’s remarks are a reversal of Israel’s previous view, which was that the Lebanese Army was autonomous, even if some of its troops cooperated with the better-armed Hezbollah, who are aligned with and supplied by Iran.
The Lebanese Army insists it operates independently of Hezbollah. During an operation against Daesh militants in the Arsal border area in July and August, when Hezbollah attacked from the Syrian side at the same time, Lebanon said there was no coordination.
Lieberman said on Tuesday that Israel, which invaded Lebanon in 2006, sought to avoid going to war again on its northern border — but if it did, any conflict would include Syria.
“In anything that transpires, it will be one theater, Syria and Lebanon together, Hezbollah, the Assad regime and all of the Assad regime’s collaborators,” he said.
There was no immediate reaction in Lebanon to Lieberman’s remarks. However, a military source told Arab News that military strength in the south, depleted by the action against Daesh on the northeastern border with Syria, was being reinforced again.

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BEIRUT: The US offered multimillion-dollar rewards on Tuesday for two Hezbollah militia leaders.
The State Department said the government would pay up to $ 7 million for information leading to the arrest of Talal Hamiyah, head of the group’s external security organization, and up to $ 5m for Fuad Shukr, a top Hezbollah military operative.
Hamiyah is responsible for planning and executing Hezbollah’s terrorist activities outside Lebanon. He is suspected of involvement in the 1994 Hezbollah attacks in Argentina. Shukr runs the group’s military forces in southern Lebanon.
US counterterrorism officials said they believed Hezbollah wanted to develop the capacity to strike inside the US and they continue to see activity on behalf of the group in America.
The rewards were offered as Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Lebanese Army was now controlled by Hezbollah, and Israel would fight both in any future war.
“We are no longer talking about Hezbollah alone,” Lieberman told Israeli troops. “We are talking about Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army, and to my regret, this is the reality. The Lebanese Army has turned into an integral part of Hezbollah’s command structure. It has lost its independence and become an inseparable part of the Hezbollah apparatus.”
Lieberman’s remarks are a reversal of Israel’s previous view, which was that the Lebanese Army was autonomous, even if some of its troops cooperated with the better-armed Hezbollah, who are aligned with and supplied by Iran.
The Lebanese Army insists it operates independently of Hezbollah. During an operation against Daesh militants in the Arsal border area in July and August, when Hezbollah attacked from the Syrian side at the same time, Lebanon said there was no coordination.
Lieberman said on Tuesday that Israel, which invaded Lebanon in 2006, sought to avoid going to war again on its northern border — but if it did, any conflict would include Syria.
“In anything that transpires, it will be one theater, Syria and Lebanon together, Hezbollah, the Assad regime and all of the Assad regime’s collaborators,” he said.
There was no immediate reaction in Lebanon to Lieberman’s remarks. However, a military source told Arab News that military strength in the south, depleted by the action against Daesh on the northeastern border with Syria, was being reinforced again.

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