TechHezbollah's formidable show of force. Missiles rain on Israel

Hezbollah's formidable show of force. Missiles rain on Israel

Iron Dome system intercepting targets incoming from Lebanon.
Iron Dome system intercepting targets incoming from Lebanon.
Images source: © Agencja Forum | AYAL MARGOLIN / Reuters / Forum

1:37 PM EDT, April 13, 2024

On April 12, 2024, Hezbollah launched a significant missile attack on Israel from Lebanese territory, firing between 40 and 50 rockets. This assault was not limited to standard rockets. It necessitated Israel's deployment of several sophisticated missiles designed to intercept ballistic threats. Here's a closer look at Hezbollah's capabilities.

Hezbollah, a Shiite political entity, is crucial in Lebanon's governmental framework. According to an analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, it boasts a highly trained militia with approximately 20,000 active members and an equal number of reservists. This makes Hezbollah a more formidable force than the Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

Based in Lebanon, Hezbollah is considered a cornerstone of the nation's resilience. Its influence extends beyond military might, offering substantial social support through healthcare and charitable initiatives. This dual role enables Hezbollah to effectively counter potential threats from Israel and formerly groups like the Islamic State.

On April 12, Hezbollah once again targeted Israel with a barrage of rockets, concurrently with a minor offensive by Hamas from the Gaza Strip's southern region. The attack included a variety of munitions, from simple unguided rockets to sophisticated ballistic missiles, necessitating Israel's deployment of defences such as the Tamir anti-missile system and the costly Arrow-3 and Patriot missiles.

Hezbollah's Arsenal, a potent force bolstered by Iran's assistance

Hezbollah's arsenal, significantly supported by Iran, surpasses that of Hamas in both scale and sophistication, thanks in part to Lebanon's capability to produce arms. Among their weaponry are various anti-tank devices, including dual RPG-7 grenade launchers and advanced anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) like the Toophan and Dehlavieh, as well as the "Thar Allah" twin launcher, and the "Almas," an Iranian adaptation of the Israeli Spike-LR missile.

Additionally, Hezbollah possesses QW-18 portable anti-aircraft systems, capable of targeting aircraft within a 3-mile range and at altitudes of up to 2.5 miles. These Chinese-made systems are equipped with dual-spectrum warheads for enhanced efficacy against countermeasures.

However, their most significant advantage lies in their extensive artillery and missile capacity, considerably outmatching Hamas. With the backing of Iran and Syria, Hezbollah has amassed an estimated 130,000 missiles, including BM-21 Grad and BM-27 Uragan launchers and various ballistic missiles, as reported by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Their arsenal includes Zelzal-1 and Zelzal-2 missiles, capable of carrying heavy payloads over considerable distances, and guided missiles from the Fateh-110 family, offering precise targeting capabilities. Additionally, Hezbollah maintains several SCUD launchers, emphasizing the grave threat their large-scale deployment would pose to Israel.

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