TEL AVIV – The Lebanese Hezbollah militia, aided by Iran and Syria, has acquired a small number of missiles capable of targeting Tel Aviv’s international airport, according to security sources.
The sources said recent speeches in which Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah repeatedly warned Israel of a “colossal surprise” were references to his group’s purported new capability of striking Israel’s main airport.
“If you the Zionists are thinking of attacking Lebanon … I promise great surprises that could alter the fate of the war and the region, G-d willing,” said Nasrallah in a September speech.
In a speech two months prior, Nasrallah claimed his group would release a “colossal surprise” that would target Israel by land similar to a surprise attack his group launched during confrontations in the summer of 2006 when Hezbollah successfully used Chinese-made C-802 missiles to strike Israel’s navy. The Jewish state had failed to calibrate its sea vessels’ anti-missile systems, reportedly unaware Hezbollah possessed the Chinese missiles.
Security officials, who spoke to WND on condition of anonymity, didn’t specify the exact missile they said Hezbollah acquired that can target Tel Aviv’s airport. They said the missiles were passed to Hezbollah by Iran through the Syria-Lebanese border.
The Lebanese Army and a contingent of several thousand international troops were deployed in South Lebanon to specifically ensure against Hezbollah’s rearming, but Israel says neither the international forces nor the Lebanese army are taking concrete measures to stop Hezbollah from rearming. Additionally, no troops have deployed along the Syria-Lebanese border, where most of Hezbollah’s rearming reportedly takes place.
A United Nations cease-fire imposed after the 34-days of confrontations in July and August of 2006 banned weapons transfers and called on Hezbollah to disarm.
Israel is not alone in pointing out Hezbollah’s rearmament. Last week, the U.N. released a report quoting Israeli officials stating Hezbollah acquired new long-range rockets capable of hitting Tel Aviv and tripled their arsenal of land-to-sea missiles since last summer’s war.
The U.N. report did not state Hezbollah acquired missiles that can target Tel Aviv’s airport, only rockets, which cannot be calibrated to target a specific area.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called Hezbollah’s purported rearming a cause for great concern.
“Israel has stated that the nature and number of weapons in Hezbollah’s control constitutes a strategic threat to its security and the safety of its citizens,” he said.
The U.N. report said Hezbollah’s long-range rocket force is stationed in areas north of the Litani River, above the area at which international forces are deployed, and that most of the new rockets, including hundreds of Zilzal and Fajr rockets, have a range of 155 miles, “enabling them to reach Tel Aviv and points further south,” the report said.
“Israel also claims that Hezbollah has tripled its shore-to-sea C-802 missiles and have established an air-defense unit armed with ground-to-air missiles,” Ban said.
While Israel did not provided the U.N. with specific intelligence due to the sensitivity of the sources, Ban said last week several speeches by Nasrallah the past few months “seem to confirm these Israeli claims.”
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