“Lebanon has become – both by its own actions and omissions and by a blind eye from many members of the international community – one large missile factory,” Manelis wrote on the website.
“It’s no longer a transfer of arms, funds or consultation. Iran has de-facto opened a new branch, the ‘Lebanon branch.’ Iran is here,” he said.
“In Lebanon, Hezbollah does not conceal its attempt to take control of the state,” he continued.
“The past year has been further proof that Hezbollah serves as an operational arm of Iran. In every place where there was instability, we discovered the fingerprint of Iran and everywhere we discovered Hezbollah’s involvement,” Manelis reportedly wrote.
Some 200 villages in south Lebanon have also been turned into “military strongholds” from which Hezbollah militants are able to watch Israeli soldiers at any moment.
“The ordinary citizen will be mistaken to think that this process turns Lebanon into a fortress, it is nothing more than a barrel of gunpowder on which he, his family and his property are sitting,” Manelis said in his op-ed on Sunday.
“One in every three or four houses in southern Lebanon is a headquarters, a post, a weapons depot or a Hezbollah hideout. We know these assets and know how to attack them accurately if required.”
“The future of Lebanese citizens is in the hands of a dictator who sits in Tehran,” Manelis reportedly wrote, adding that “I think it is right to warn the residents of Lebanon of the Iranian game in their security and in their future.”
The commander of Lebanon’s armed forces instructed his troops during the last independence day , to be fully ready to deal with a potential attack from Israel.
The Lebanese army achieved several victories against jihadi groups on the country’s restive eastern border with Syria last year
On the eve of the country’s 74th anniversary of independence from France, the Lebanese military commander, Joseph Aoun, commended soldiers for successfully expelling the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an Al-Qaeda affiliate formerly known as Nusra Front, from the outskirts of eastern towns such as Arsal, Ras Baalbek and Hermel this summer. He warned, however, that current “exceptional political circumstances” required personnel to “maintain the utmost awareness and vigilance and to take measures to maintain stability,” especially looking south, where another foe stands at the ready.
“I call on you to be fully prepared at the southern border to face the threats from the Israeli enemy, its violations and its hostile intent towards Lebanon, its people and its army, as well as to always ensure the implementation of Resolution 1701 in coordination and cooperation with United Nations forces in Lebanon, preserving a secure stability,” General Aoun said , according to the Lebanese army’s official Twitter account.
Israel tries to intimidate the Lebanese on a daily basis with its military overflights.