Hezbollah has 10,000 men facing Israel’s Golan and Israel flexed its military muscles

Hezbollah is using a “de-escalation” deal brokered by Russia and the US to pour thousands of battle-hardened soldiers into southern Syria and entrench its positions for a possible confrontation with Israel, a commander told Middle East Eye.

The commander, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there were 10,000 Hezbollah fighters in areas along the disputed Golan Heights frontier, and that missile bases and tunnel networks were being built.

“The de-escalation plan is better for us,” he said. “We are working with more freedom, there are no more bombings.”

Analysts and former senior Israeli military officers say to Washington Post that Israel is showing that it will act with force to protect its interests, while using just enough of it to limit its enemies without sparking a war. But it’s a precarious line to tread, and even a small misstep could lead to conflict, they say.