The Israeli military released images of three sites in Beirut that it claims are being used by Iran’s Lebanese proxy – Hezbollah – to hide underground precision missile production facilities.
The sites, located within close proximity of Beirut’s international airport, were first revealed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday night, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
The production facilities, which are used to convert regular missiles into more accurate precision guided ones, are not currently believed to be up-and-running. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) asserted that they were currently under construction with Iranian supervision.
It has been reported that the target of Israel’s controversial missile strike in Syria last week – the one in which a Russian military plane was downed with the loss of 15 servicemen’s lives – was machinery used in the production of precision missiles – which was en route to Hezbollah.
According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the precision missiles are capable of striking within 10 meters (32 feet) of their intended target. Following restocking after the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hezbollah is estimated to have between 100,00 and 150,000 missiles in its arsenal. Most are not believed to be equipped with precision technology.
They army said the facilities are “another example of Iranian entrenchment in the region and the negative influence of Iran.”
In addition to his direct warning to Iran, Netanyahu also relayed a message to the Lebanese terrorist group. “Israel knows, Israel also knows what you’re doing. Israel knows where you’re doing it. And Israel will not let you get away with it.” He added that Hezbollah was using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields.
The three missile sites included the Ouzai neighborhood on the water’s edge and close to the airport’s runway; underneath a soccer field used by a Hezbollah-sponsored team; and a third site abutting the Rafik Hariri airport runway.
In May, Netanyahu said Israel was “operating against the transfer of deadly weapons from Syria to Lebanon or their manufacture in Lebanon.”
In recent years, Israel has acknowledged conducting hundreds of airstrikes in Syria, which it says were aimed at both preventing Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria and blocking the transfer of advanced munitions to Hezbollah in Lebanon.