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In the past, the Lebanese armed forces' inability to confront or deter Israel was reflected as political weakness for the Lebanese government vis-a-vis Hezbollah.Neither Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701, which mandated the disarmament of Hezbollah, nor Western support for March 14 forces could reverse the rising tide of the group, which had forged an alliance with General Michel Aoun, thereby securing credible Christian support.As such, the Lebanese government could not do much to confront Hezbollah.The elite units of the armed forces, notably the rangers, commandos and navy seals, were specifically trained in urban warfare and in confronting irregular forces and counterinsurgency.The conflict now involved jihadis with light weapons and mobile anti-tank missiles facing Hezbollah fighters with similar weapons.Hezbollah did not anticipate this and was ill prepared for irregular warfare and border control.The battles by the Syrian army and Hezbollah 18 months ago to control the Damascus-Homs highway drove several thousand Nusra Front fighters into the Qalamoun plateau, an area roughly 60 by 20 kilometers straddling Lebanon and Syria.
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