On Sunday, Lebanon was rattled by two air raids. As the dust settles, the small Mediterranean republic is now waiting anxiously to see if simmering Iranian-Israeli tensions will evaporate—or boil over into a full-scale war on Lebanese soil.
“There is a scenario of continuing with this ongoing pattern of limited, calibrated tit-for-tat escalation, or things can get out of control, and we are suddenly facing a regional war,” said former Beirut resident Randa Slim, after two Israeli drones exploded over the Lebanese capital in an alleged kamikaze attack against the pro-Iran guerrilla group cumpolitical party Hezbollah.
With elections in Israel set for September, right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to cultivate his strongman image with an aggressive military posture. Iran, meanwhile, has to balance its delicate efforts to win new friends in Europe and America with defending its old allies in the Middle East. And neither side is sure where the United States will throw its weight.
Read the full article and more in The National Interest.