In southern Lebanon, the Iran-backed terrorist group Hizballah has at least 150,000 missiles—on the whole more powerful and sophisticated than those used by Hamas—pointed at Israel, along with well-trained troops prepared to make cross-border raids and defend against any counterattack by the IDF. And that’s not to mention its troops and military installations in Syria, or the network of global criminal enterprises that funds its war-making abilities. The Shiite organization is also vulnerable, however, and Danny Citrinowicz argues that the U.S. and its allies can take advantage of that:
Over the course of the past few years, Hizballah saw its popularity in Lebanon increasingly wane, [especially] following the Beirut blast in August 2020—even among segments of the local Shiite population. Hizballah’s draconian grip on the country’s failing political system has pitted the Lebanese against it. They have rightfully blamed the group for the abysmal state of affairs in the country, including an unprecedented economic crisis.
Hizballah itself is feeling the economic pinch because of effective international sanctions against Iran—the group’s primary financial backer—as well as the fact that the nearly decade-long Syria war drained Iran’s coffers. As a result of financial problems and its diminished credibility, the group is finding it very difficult to maintain its grip on power.
Several countries around the world have already designated Hizballah as a terrorist organization due to its track record of committing acts of terror worldwide. . . . Most measures countries have taken against Hizballah, [however], have been directed at the group’s operations in Lebanon. Internationally, while there are attempts to thwart terrorist attacks, there is very little action taken to combat the group’s illicit and criminal activities.
Therefore, it is important to step up international efforts to combat [these] illicit activities around the world. This is the opportune time to go after the group.