The analysts and observers, along with those assessing the goals and dimensions of Hezbollah’s and Iran’s dispatch of the reconnaissance drone Ayoub to the skies of occupied Palestine on October 6 are puzzled. This is while numerous analyses, reactions and controversies emerged on the Lebanese domestic arena in regard to this development, in parallel to the international reactions warning against its repercussions and even accusing the party and Iran of trying to lead Lebanon towards war.
The drone’s provocation of war is very unlikely for numerous reasons, ones which are not limited to the argument saying that Israel will not wage such a war while it is preparing for the anticipated legislative elections in January. And just as it is believed that Israel does not want war, neither does Hezbollah. Indeed, the two sides of this alleged war have already exchanged indirect messages in this regard, the last of which were seen during the tripartite meetings held under the command and at the headquarters of UNIFIL in the Lebanese South between Lebanese and Israeli armies. The latter had informed the Lebanese army around three months ago that it will not be the one initiating war, while the Lebanese army informed the Israeli side on behalf of Hezbollah’s command that it will not launch war. This even reached the point where the party’s leaders themselves have been repeating in their sessions: “We are acquiring weapons and the Israelis know that. For their part, the Israelis are also acquiring weapons and receiving training, and we know that."
This simple equation is probably what transformed the Lebanese South into a very safe and calm area, even more than the other Lebanese regions which are either witnessing strife or concerns over the eruption of strife due to the acute Lebanese division, especially in regard to the Syrian crisis.
Clearly, the accomplishment secured by Iran and the party, which were able to infiltrate the Israeli radars and whose drone was able to take pictures of military targets, was intended to have a satellite media dimension exceeding the military character. Indeed, had the event been limited to this facet, its mystery would have been sustained as it is usually done by the party, which intentionally surrounds any military step it undertakes with secrecy. Nonetheless, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s adoption of this step and the airing of footage by Al-Manar channel showing the course adopted by the drone throughout more than a week, in addition to Tehran’s bragging about the accomplishment, makes one believe that the accomplishment had a multipurpose media dimension related to the Iranian-Western tensions, the Syrian crisis and its repercussions on the Lebanese scene.
Nowadays, all the accomplishments aired on satellite channels have their media and psychological impact, ever since the American landing on Mars and Austrian adventurer Felix Baumgartner’s breaking of the sound barrier with his 39-kilometer high jump. On the other hand, the Iranian IRNA news agency’s announcement of the fact that Syria will launch a satellite in space within a few weeks raises questions surrounding the timing of this announcement, at a time when the ally, i.e. the Syrian regime in Damascus, has lost control over more than half the Syrian soil and the European Union has announced that Eutelsat discontinued the broadcasting of 19 Iranian satellite channels in the context of the tightening of the sanctions on Tehran.
We should bear in mind the fact that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had said months ago he was winning on the ground (in reference to his military steps in the face of his oppositionists), that his opponents were winning in space (in reference to the satellite channels which he accused of carrying out falsification) and that soon “we will win in space as well”. If this report is true, then his inability to impose his control on the ground raises questions related to whether or not his supporters in the rejectionist front have decided to make it up for him on the media level and in space, in parallel to his warplanes’ control over the country’s airspace, their destruction of cities and villages and their bombing of the people without any mercy.
Whether or not the party and the Iranian side intended this, one of the results of the dispatch of the Ayoub drone is that the domestic standoff revealed division over this accomplishment, at a time when the Lebanese official sides would have preferred to see it remain non-adopted. Also among its results is that it turned the controversy surrounding Hezbollah’s involvement on the ground in the fight alongside the Syrian regime on the Syrian domestic arena, into a controversy over the technical accomplishment which dazzled the party’s supporters, after the latter were concerned about the implication in the battles in Syria and the death of the fighters on arenas other than the ones for which they were prepared.
At this level, can one resort to the saying “covering the sky with a dome”?
The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent or reflect the editorial policy of Arabstoday.