Amidst continued threats of retaliation, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesmen have attempted to defuse the situation by stating that the high-ranking Hezbollah and Iranian officers killed in last Sunday’s missile strike were not deliberately targeted.
In the first official acknowledgement of the raid, it was explained that a credible intelligence tip had been received of an imminent attack on the border fence with Syria. When the convoy carrying the officers was spotted moving toward the border near Quneitra, it was assumed to be the operational unit heading to conduct the attack, and preventive action was taken.
Though some sort of violent response is expected and Israeli authorities are taking the threats of retaliation most seriously — border units have been placed on full alert and Iron Dome counter-missile batteries have been activated in the north — they do not believe that a full-scale war is imminent.
The primary reason? Hezbollah is in bad shape and ill-suited to such a conflict, due both to the very heavy losses in men and equipment suffered in the fighting in Syria and also to the effect of plummeting world oil prices on their finances.