The IDF on Thursday revealed details on Hezbollah’s Iranian-backed precision guided missile project, days after drone attacks attributed to Israel targeted a site allegedly used by Hezbollah to manufacture missiles.
According to the IDF report released Thursday afternoon, the precision missile project was first launched six years ago, following Iranian transfers of missiles to Lebanon via Syria.
“Between 2013- 2015, under the auspices of the Syrian civil war, Iran began its efforts to transport ready-to-use precision guided missiles from Iran, via Syria, to the terror organization Hezbollah in Lebanon,” the IDF claims.
Israel claimed that the efforts by Iran and Hezbollah to build up a precision-guided missile force was largely thwarted by “attacks attributed to Israel”, with the IDF avoiding taking responsibility for the strikes, while emphasizing that “Hezbollah failed to acquire precision-guided missiles”.
After 2016, Iran and Hezbollah shifted their strategy from transporting whole precision guided missiles to converting existing rockets into precision guided missiles on Lebanese soil.
The plan was, according to the IDF report, to smuggle precision missile components from Iran to Lebanon, for the sake of converting ordinary rockets from the “SARS” Center for Scientific Research in Syria into precision guided missiles.
In order to sustain the conversion of “statistic” rockets into precision guided missiles, Hezbollah established facilities across Lebanon, including in Beirut. The commander of the Lebanon Corps in the Quds Force, Muhammad Hussein-Zada Hejazi, oversaw the project, under the guidance of Qassem Suleimani, chief of Iran’s Quds Force.
Iran is said to have established ground, air, and sea routes for transferring materials to Hezbollah units in Lebanon to produce the precision guided missiles.
The land “axes” ran through official border crossing points along the Syrian-Lebanese frontier, while the air “axes” used civilian flights into Beirut’s Rafiq Hariri Airport, while thesea “axes” relied on the Beirut port.
The failure of Iran and Hezbollah to build a precision guided missile arsenal from 2016 to 2018 led to the construction of specialized conversion facilities across Lebanon to enhance Hezbollah’s missile production capabilities.