Israeli soldiers during an urban combat drill, July 2017.
Amir Cohen / Reuters

Another war between Israel and Hezbollah is almost inevitable. Although neither side wants a conflict now, the shifting balance of power in the Levant and shrinking areas of contestation are indicators of a looming showdown. The real questions are how and where—not if—the impending conflagration will occur.

The events of February 10 underscored the Levant’s instability. Israel shot down an Iranian drone that flew into its airspace and bombed the site in Syria from which the drone had allegedly been launched; during the latter mission, Syrian antiaircraft fire downed an Israeli F-16, the first Israeli fighter to be shot down by enemy fire in decades. Israel responded with massive retaliation against a slew of Iranian and regime-affiliated military targets in Syria.

Tensions in the region are only going to get worse. The Syrian civil war has so far resulted in nearly half a million dead, six million internally

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