Iran and its terrorist proxy in Lebanon are making an increasing series of threats and provocative action in response to international pressure to halt its nuclear weapons program and as Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syrian continues to teeter.
More than 10,000 Hizballah fighters, mostly special forces, finished a three-day drill last week that included practicing to occupy Israel's Upper Galilee, the Jerusalem Post reports. The preparations were ordered by Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah, who made a speech last week threatening thousands of Israeli casualties from Hizballah rocket fire.
Meanwhile, Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered members of its Quds Force to increase terrorist attacks against western targets abroad, London's Telegraph reports. The order followed a report Khamenei commissioned which found a combination of United Nations economic sanctions and Assad's potential fall threatened Iran's national security.
The country "cannot be passive" in facing those threats, the report concluded. Syria is a key ally for the Islamic Republic, and serves as a transit route for weapons destined for Hizballah in Lebanon.
"The Iranian regime now seems determined to retaliate for what they regard as the West's attempts to influence the outcome of the Syrian unrest," a western intelligence source told the Telegraph's Con Coughlin.
Quds Force members are suspected in a series of attempted terrorist attacks in Europe and South Asia, primarily aimed at Israeli targets. Israel also has blamed Iran for the bombing of a tourist bus in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver last month.