Israel has reportedly warned Hezbollah that it will harshly respond to any attack after reports that the Iran-backed terrorist group has obtained advanced weapons systems.
The warning is thought to have been passed to the terrorist group via an unnamed Arab emissary, who spoke to the London-based Lebanese newspaper Al-Hayat on Sunday.
Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman reported in Yediot Ahronoth that according to “very good sources” Hezbollah is believed to have obtained up to eight Yakhont shore-to-sea missiles, which he describes as an “equilibrium-breaking” weapon.
The Russian anti-ship Yakhont missile is considered to be the best of its kind in the world. Even the most advanced missile interception systems are unable to effectively intercept and destroy it. Israeli analysts believe that, with Yakhont missiles, Hezbollah could threaten Israeli military and civilian shipping as well as Israeli oil and gas rigs in the Mediterranean Sea and even the American Sixth Fleet.
Bergman’s report states that the information about Hezbollah’s acquisition was discussed among several Western intelligence officials at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend.
In December 2016, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: “Israel has several red lines that it is not prepared to cross, including the smuggling of sophisticated or chemical weapons to Hezbollah.”
Israel has invested extensive efforts in trying to prevent weapons transfers to Hezbollah. Israel has confirmed carrying out several attacks on these weapons transfers since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
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