(JNS.org) Russia reportedly worked behind the scenes to protect the Hezbollah terror group in advance of a recent meeting on the renewal of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon’s (UNIFIL) presence in the region.
Prior to last week’s U.N. Security Council meeting on UNIFIL’s mandate in southern Lebanon, the Russians purportedly lobbied for the removal of all references to Hezbollah in the resolution’s text, according to a classified Israeli diplomatic cable cited in a report by Haaretz.
Last week, Israel had received messages from France and the U.S. that the Security Council’s resolution would require UNIFIL to aggressively keep Hezbollah’s activities in check this year.
Since the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the mandate set by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 ends every year and is automatically renewed. This year, the U.S. and Israel demanded that UNIFIL no longer turn a blind eye to Hezbollah’s violations of the resolution.
Several new paragraphs related to Hezbollah’s terror activity were initially added to the resolution’s draft, but during negotiations, Russia reportedly threatened to use its veto power at the Security Council unless all references to the terror group were redacted.
Since becoming actively involved in the Syrian Civil War in 2015, Russia has worked closely with Iran in support of the regime of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Israel, meanwhile, has allegedly conducted several missile strikes targeting Iranian-sponsored weapons convoys heading to Hezbollah in Lebanon.