Photo of Hezbollah’s rising star uncovered Roi Kais/Ynetnews/June 03/16
Talal Hamia, head of Unit 910, Hezbollah’s foreign operations unit, was published for first time; he is expected to be promoted as a result of the killing of Mustafa Badr al-Din. The first ever photo of Talal Hamia, the head of Hezbollah’s foreign operations unit – Unit 910- and whose name is linked with the attack on the Jewish community building in Buenos Aires in 1994, was published online Thursday afternoon.It was Ronen Solomon, the intelligence analyst for Intelli Times which closely monitors Hezbollah, who came upon the picture. Hamia, who comes from Baalbek in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, is considered one of the veteran commanders of Hezbollah’s military wing. According to reports in recent years, based on intelligence sources, he in effect replaced Badr al-Din after the International Court included the latter on the indictment regarding the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Similar to Badr al-Din, Hamia is also a mysterious figure. His name has been linked to the planning of terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hezbollah abroad. In 2012, the US Treasury Department placed sanctions on him. In a recent publication of Asharq Al-Awsat, an Arabic language newspaper published in London, reported the person to replace Badr al-Din – who served as a senior figure in Hezbollah’s military wing and the commander of the terrorist organization in Syria – is Mustafa Mughniyeh, Imad Mughniyeh’s eldest son, who was killed Damascus in 2008. But the credibility of the report is in doubt as the newspaper, owned by Saudi Arabia, is known for its biased coverage against Iran and Hezbollah. virtue of being owned by a Saudi. At the same time, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon – the international court dealing with the assassination of former Lebanese President Rafik Hariri in 2005 – does not accept the assertion that Badr al-Din is involved in the former’s assassination. Therefore the trial is taking its usual course.
IDF troops simulate Hezbollah warfare Yoav Zitun/Ynetnews /June 03/16
Camouflage, Kalashnikov rifles, and planting bombs were all a part of the Nahal Brigade’s recent drill simulating warfare against Hezbollah. The drill took place in the Galilee region, with Nahal soldiers acting as Hezbollah fighters. The IDF has recently upgraded its enemy simulation process during combat training, but its Nahal infantry brigade has taken things one step further, ordering some of its fighters to plan and simulate a battle against the IDF while acting as a Hezbollah combat company. As part of the Nahal’s training, which has been taking place over the past several months, some of the brigade’s companies were converted to replicate those of the Lebanese-Shiite terror organization, with the rest of the forces fighting against them. The Nahal’s “Hezbollah Companies” wear camouflage uniforms (as opposed to the IDF’s olive-green uniform), use weapons that were actually captured from Hezbollah such as AK-47 rifles and RPG launchers, and employ Hezbollah tactics, such as placing bombs on the IDF’s expected path. In addition, these companies have been provided command and control centers modeled on intelligence information relating to the originals, which would be used by Hezbollah in case of a third armed conflict in Lebanon. These centers have deliberately been placed by Hezbollah in the midst of civilian areas, and thus so have the simulated command hubs of the IDF “Hezbollah Companies.”The “Hezbollah Companies” operated in the Druze village of Samia in the Galilee, with regular Nahal troops being assigned the task of taking and clearing their positions, following a 30 kilometer march. Both sides fired blanks at each other during the drills and used pyrotechnics to simulate the battle scenarios they would likely encounte in a Southern Lebanon clash with Hezbollah’s real fighters. “Enemy simulation is a profession for us, and we check the commanders and fighters in enemy simulations as a legitimate way of gauging how they would act in the face of the IDF if they were Hezbollah’s people?,” a senior Nahal officer said, “They are tested on where the correct place to lay their Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) is on the outskirts of the village in the face of IDF forces. A ‘Hezbollah Company’ needs to cleverly place lookouts, whose goal is to identify battalion soldiers approaching.” “When the enemy simulation company identified (the regular Nahal troops) first, we ‘destroyed’ the force that was identified and the battalion continued without it,” the officer continued. “This all happens in a Galilee village, with barking dogs, surrounded by building structures in town outskirts with large vegetation. (It smells like ) the scents of the village. Construction is low, there are fences around houses, and (we evem simulate) the same way of parking on the sides of narrow streets. It’s the closest (we can get) to the expected reality in Southern Lebanon.