Israel has apparently sent a final warning to the Lebanese government that it will seek to destroy Iranian proxy, Hezbollah’s munitions factories, unless they are promptly shut down.
Iran is known to have recently supplied Hezbollah with precision-guided munitions, enabling a much greater number of their vast arsenal – thought to be in the region of 120,000 – 150,000 rockets – with an ability to strike within a 10-meter radius of an intended target. The prospect of Israel having to contend with such a large number of unguided rockets is causing concern, but the threat of high-precision weapons significantly ramps up the threat.
Similar to the set-up in which Hamas and Islamic Jihad manufacture their missiles in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah’s precision-guided factories are thought to be located in small workshops. They are scattered across Lebanon making them harder to locate and target by air or missile – and they are frequently placed among civilian populations.
It is clear that even if they were destroyed, the likelihood of collateral damage – in the form of significant civilian casualties – is high. Although such Israeli missions would be justified, and the fact that Hezbollah is committing a war crime understood, the optics of carrying out such a move would not look good – and the PR backlash would no doubt be severe.
According to Debkafile’s military sources report, this latest (or last) warning was not Israel’s first. Lebanon has allegedly been cautioned more than once through both the United States and France. However, Israel’s final warning was relayed to Beirut on Monday, Nov. 11, by Aurelien Lechevallier, adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron, who visited Israel on the same day as President Donald Trump’s special adviser for Syria, James Jeffrey.
On Saturday, Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech, “The path of the resistance is decisive, strong and triumphant, achieving historic victories. We are not afraid of any sanctions and we will continue to hold on to our weapons and missiles.”