Iran is copy-catting the deadly Russian Kornet anti-tank missile that Hizbullah used against Israeli soldiers in the Second Lebanon War and which Hamas used to kill a student on a school bus last year.
Quoting defense sources in London and Moscow, the Gulf News website quoted a Russian defense advisor as saying that Iran may have obtained the design for the Kornet missile from Hizbullah. An analyst from Jane’s Defense suggested that Hamas and/ or Syria may have been the source for handing over the design to Iran, which does not have a license from Russia to produce the missile.
IDF intelligence failed to obtain advanced information that Hizbullah possessed the Kornet missile, and Israeli tanks were unprepared for missile attacks that killed dozens of soldiers and wounded hundreds more in the 34-day-old war.
The Kornet has a range of 5.5 kilometers, or 3.5 miles. Hizbullah has said the Kornet missiles destroyed two advanced Israeli Merkava-4 tanks during the war in 2006. The missiles were smuggled into Lebanon from Syria.
Over two years ago, Israel discovered that Hamas also has possession of the missile. In December 2010, former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi announced, "On December 6, a Kornet anti-tank missile fired for the first time in Gaza hit an IDF tank and penetrated its outer shell. Luckily, the missile did not explode inside the tank. We are talking about a massive missile, one of the most dangerous in the battlefield, which has already been used against the IDF in the Lebanon War."
Hamas used the same missile to attack a school bus approximately a mile from Gaza last year, killing a student. Dozens of other children had stepped off the bus only a few minutes before the attack near Kibbutz Saad, in the western Negev.