Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, July 10, 2016

CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN ELEVATED COUNTRY RISK FOR LEBANON


Many Middle Eastern commentators have been speculating of late, regarding the increased possibility of an armed conflict, during the next few months, between Hezbollah, and the armed forces of Israel. They point to the following:

(1) Hezbollah's reported recall, of its special operations contingent, from the battleground in Syria.

(2) Cryptic warnings, emanating from Hezbollah's Secretary-General, Hassan Nasrallah, that the designated terrorist organization faces challenges and trials in the months ahead.

(3) References, made by general officers of the Israel Defense Force (IDF), to the fact that Israel expects to see Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps units, and leadership, near its national borders, accompanied by Hezbollah. You will recall what happened several months ago when Israel attacked and destroyed such a group of officers, in Syrian territory, in the Golan Heights.

(4) Oblique references, from Israel, regarding the need to destroy Hezbollah, as a fighting force, in the next armed conflict, notwithstanding the fact that Israeli civilian casualties could be high.

All this is very disturbing, given the current Israeli policy to destroy Lebanese infrastructure ( utilities, transportation hubs, communication nets, airfields), as well as Hezbollah missiles hidden in civilian facilities. Lebanon could literally be knocked out of commission, and unable to provide civilian services, post-war, for months after the fighting stops. No infrastructure means no Beirut financial district in operation.

Therefore, monitor the situation regularly, and keep new financial exposure to a minimum, so that losses do not occur. Maintain the present high Country Risk level at this time.

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