Israeli army says uncovers Hezbollah missile site
Jerusalem (AFP) –
The Israeli army said Tuesday it had exposed a Hezbollah site dedicated to the manufacture of "precision-guided" missiles in Lebanon, just days after a cross-border flare-up between the arch-foes.
"The IDF is exposing a facility belonging to Hezbollah... designed to convert and manufacture precision-guided missiles," the Israeli army said in a statement.
It released what it said was an aerial photograph of the site in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, near the town of Nabi Chit.
The statement comes after the Iran-backed Shiite movement said Sunday its fighters had fired anti-tank missiles into Israel, destroying a military vehicle and killing or wounding those inside.
Israel's army said it had responded with around 100 artillery shells after Hezbollah targeted a battalion headquarters and military ambulance, hitting both.
Israeli officials refuted claims of casualties.
Israel's army said last week that Iran was collaborating with Hezbollah to convert "stupid rockets into precision-guided missiles", through a plan to smuggle the required components into Lebanon.
The facility near Nabi Chit was established a few years ago by the Lebanese Shiite movement and its ally Tehran, the Israeli army said on Tuesday.
"Lately, various activities to facilitate the manufacture and conversion of precision-guided missiles at the facility have been identified," it added.
Such activities included "the establishment of a dedicated assembly line for precision weapons and the transfer of sensitive and dedicated equipment".
The facility hosted machines designed to manufacture the motors and warheads of missiles "with an accuracy of less than 10 meters", with Iran supplying special machines and instruction for manufacturing crews, the Israeli army said.
It further alleged that Hezbollah had "in fear of strikes, evacuated precious and unique equipment from the compound to civilian locations in Beirut".
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Monday said his organisation would respond to any further Israeli attacks with strikes "deep inside Israel" and not just along the border.
For his part, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting that he was determined to guarantee Israel's security.
Israel must "prevent Iran from supplying our enemies and its proxies, such as Hezbollah and others, with precision weapons that endanger us", he said.
© 2019 AFP