#ISRAELHAMASWAR. Here is Hezbollah’s Arsenal

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The possibility of an open conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon seems to be getting closer and closer. Hassna Nasrallah said that the Party of God is capable of striking every part of Israel. With what arsenal?

Lebanese Hezbollah has expanded its arsenal in ongoing hostilities with Israel. Hassan Nasdallah said the group had obtained new weapons. He did not indicate them, but said that “they will emerge on the field”. Hezbollah’s latest conflict with Israel, which is raging in parallel with the Gaza war, has raised concerns about a further escalation between two entities that had their last clash on the ground in 2006.

Let’s see what arsenal Hassan Nasrallah’s group could have.

According to the World Factbook of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, Hezbollah’s military force is supported by over 150,000 missiles and rockets of various types and ranges.

Hezbollah claims to have rockets capable of hitting all areas of Israel. Many of them are unguided, but it also has precision missiles, drones and anti-tank, anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles.

Hezbollah’s main supporter and arms supplier is Iran. Tehran would send weapons to the group overland through Iraq and Syria, both Middle Eastern countries with which Iran has close ties and influence. Many of the Shiite Muslim group’s weapons are Iranian, Russian or Chinese models.

Nasrallah said the group has 100,000 fighters in 2021. The CIA World Factbook says there are an estimated up to 45,000 fighters in 2022, split between about 20,000 full-time and 25,000 reserve.

Hezbollah used guided anti-tank missiles extensively in the 2006 war. It used guided rockets again in recent hostilities. These include the Russian-made Kornet, Reuters reports.

Hezbollah also used an Iranian-made guided missile known as “al-Mas,” according to al-Mayadeen.

An Alma Center report in April described the al-Mas as an anti-tank weapon that can hit targets beyond line of sight in an arc, allowing it to strike from above.

The missile is part of a family of weapons produced by Iran through reverse engineering based on the Israeli Spike missile family, the report said. He said the missile was a “flagship product” of the Iranian defense industry in the possession of Hezbollah.

Hezbollah said on June 6 that it had fired at an Israeli warplane. A source close to its arsenal said it was the first time the group had done so, calling it a milestone, while declining to identify the weapon used.

During this conflict Hezbollah also shot down Israeli drones using surface-to-air missiles.

The first such incident occurred on October 29, when Hezbollah first claimed to have used anti-aircraft weapons that it had long been thought to possess.

Hezbollah has since used such missiles several times, shooting down Israeli Hermes 450 and Hermes 900 drones.

Hezbollah has repeatedly launched one-way explosive drones, including in some of its most complicated attacks. It launched some to distract Israeli air defenses, while explosives-laden drones were launched at targets.

More recently, the group announced attacks that use drones that drop bombs and return to Lebanon, rather than simply flying towards their targets.

Hezbollah’s drones include what are said to be the locally assembled Ayoub and Mersad models, which analysts say are cheap and relatively easy to produce.

Lastly, it used FPV drones inaction against targets in the Israeli Iron Dome.

Unguided rockets made up the bulk of Hezbollah’s missile arsenal in its last war with Israel in 2006, when the group fired around 4,000 of them at Israel – mostly Russian-made Katyusha-style missiles with a range of up to 30 km .

Nasrallah said the biggest change in Hezbollah’s arsenal since 2006 is the expansion of its precision guidance systems.

In 2022, he claimed that Hezbollah had the capability in Lebanon to upgrade thousands of rockets with guidance systems to turn them into precision missiles.

Hezbollah has Iranian models, such as the Raad (Arabic for thunder), Fajr (dawn) and Zilzal (earthquake) rockets, which have a more powerful payload and longer range than the Katyusha.

Rockets fired by Hezbollah at Israel during the Gaza conflict since October include Katyusha and Burkan (volcano) missiles with an explosive payload of 300-500 kg.

Its Iranian-made Falaq 2 rockets, used for the first time on June 8 or, they could carry a larger warhead than the Falaq 1 used in the past.

Hinting at the damage it might cause, Nasrallah made a veiled threat in 2016 that Hezbollah might strike ammonia storage tanks in the northern Israeli port city of Haifa, saying the result would be “like a nuclear bomb.”

Hezbollah first demonstrated its anti-ship missiles in 2006, when it struck an Israeli warship 16 km off the coast, killing four Israeli personnel and damaging the ship.

Since the 2006 war, Hezbollah has reportedly acquired the Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missile with a range of 300 km; Hezbollah has not confirmed it possesses the weapon.

Hezbollah also broadcast videos that apparently show other anti-ship missiles of the same type used in 2006.

Antonio Albanese e Graziella Giangiulio

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