Hezbollah is bolstering its infrastructure inside Lebanon and has acquired advanced missiles capable of reaching across Israel, according to multiple reports published in recent days in a range of international outlets. The various stories are bound to be read against the backdrop of heightened concerns that any eventual conflagration with Israel will see Israeli forces move swiftly to degrade that infrastructure and interdict those missiles, potentially endangering what has become a vast network of human shields behind which Hezbollah have been placed. Lebanese outlet Ya Libnan on Tuesday conveyed reports describing Hezbollah as having built an airport, alongside warehouses and secret tunnels, in the Bekaa Valley it dominates.
“Hezbollah has built what looks like an airport in an area between Iaat and Wardin in the Beqaa after having bought the land from a former municipality chief in the area,” the daily quoted a Western security report as saying. The report added that Hezbollah began a few weeks ago to use new weapons and rockets in its military operations in Syria, such as “Mersad 1” and “Mersad 2” drones.
The source said that Hezbollah has set up warehouses and built secret tunnels under the supervision of Iranian professionals. The daily also quoted the Western security source as saying that Hezbollah has recently moved advanced rockets and modern weapons to the Syrian region of Yabrud where it has been battling rebels.
The report comes a few days after Israeli media outlets reported on Israeli assessments under which Hezbollah has already acquired and deployed advanced Yakhont missiles. Yakhonts are over-the-horizon, sea-skimming, supersonic missiles with a range of 300 kilometers. Their acquisition by Hezbollah would enable the Iran-backed terror group to strike Israel’s off-shore energy infrastructure, endanger Israeli naval assets, and attack anywhere along the Jewish state’s coastline. The Israelis are widely expected to quickly move to destroy any known stockpiles of the weapons in the context of any future conflict, regardless of where they are hidden.
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