Hezbollah Moves Long-Range Missiles from Syria to Lebanon
Hezbollah has been moving long-range missiles from Syria to Lebanon, analysts claimed to the New York Times Friday, in light of recent developments between Lebanon and Israel.
Israeli security analyst Ronen Bergman stated Thursday that the terror organization has dismantled many of its missiles - armed by Iran and Syria - and moved them closer to home in Lebanon. Many of the missiles are capable of reaching into the heart of Israel.
Bergman explained that Hezbollah built several bases inside Syria, but near the Lebanese border, to give the terror group a strategic advantage in the event of air strikes on Lebanon. Now those bases are being liquidated, in light of Syria's ongoing and bloody conflict.
According to Bergman, the missiles being moved include Scud D’s, shorter-range Scud C’s, medium-range Fateh rockets that were made in Iran, Fajr rockets and antiaircraft weapons.
American analysts added that Hezbollah has also been smuggling Russian anti-ship missile systems over from Syria, piece by piece, in order to avoid more Israeli airstrikes.
The Wall Street Journal explained that the US believes Hezbollah has smuggled at least some components from those systems into Lebanon within the past year - including supersonic Yakhont rockets, which could hit both land and sea targets - but that the system is still missing vital parts. "To make it lethal, a system needs to be complete," said a senior defense official.
Israeli intelligence estimates that Hezbollah has at least 100,000 short-range unguided missiles. Israeli officials told their US counterparts that its longer-range rockets are spread across Lebanon, calling for a wide-scale Israeli air campaign in the future.
Tensions have heated up between Israel and Lebanon in the past several months.
IAF jets bombed trucks carrying Syrian missiles bound for Hezbollah's warehouses in Lebanon in July, according to Syrian opposition sources. After reports surfaced that Israel destroyed an arms convoy in October, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon vowed to prevent Hezbollah from accessing more arms.
"We are following the issue," he stated, "and continue to maintain our red lines on Syria - not to allow the transfer of advanced Syrian weapons to hostile hands, especially Hezbollah."
Five rockets were fired at Israel Sunday morning, but only one hit Israeli soil. The rocket hit an open field near the city of Kiryat Shmona; no injuries were reported. In response, the IDF shelled targets Lebanon, aiming to eliminate the source of the rocket fire.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held the Lebanese government, and Hezbollah, responsible for the rocket fire.
"We hold the Lebanese government responsible for firing that is carried out from within its territory," Netanyahu stated, at the beginning of his weekly Cabinet meeting. "What is happening in Lebanon is that Hezbollah is stationing thousands of missiles and rockets in apartments, in the heart of the civilian population, and is thus perpetrating two war crimes simultaneously. It is organizing the firing at civilians, just as it did today, and it is hiding behind civilians as human shields."
"This is a double war crime that that is being perpetrated under the aegis of the Lebanese government and army," he continued, "which are not lifting a finger to prevent this arming and these crimes. We hold the Lebanese government responsible for this development."