The Israeli Defense Forces revealed on Wednesday aerial photographs of sites at the village of al-Khiam in southern Lebanon, where the IDF suspects Hezbollah is storing various weapons and even operating headquarters and control centers.
Colonel Ronen Marley, commander of the western brigade at the northern border, commented on the rearmament of Hezbollah: "An event can take place today, or a year from now; I am ready for it to happen by surprise. We are operating in different ways to thwart any event – if one should take place, we will know how to handle it."
Colonel Marley added that the Hezbollah has recently been collecting intelligence on IDF forces, and sometimes operates in civilian guise. The organization was also engaged in infrastructure works that would prepare it for future fighting.
A senior military source claimed that increased cooperation between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah is giving them an operational advantage and increases their effectiveness ahead of a clash with the IDF. However, the IDF emphasized that despite reports of a new radar operating in Syria, this claim was not familiar to them.
Preparing the groundsThe material presented by the military revealed that 23,000 residents live in the village where al-Khiam Detention Center was operating while the IDF controlled the safety zone in southern Lebanon.
According to information obtained by the security establishment, Hezbollah was now preparing the grounds for the next round of battle with Israel.
Al-Khiam rooftops. Targets marked in red.
The army noted that some 90 activists were operating in the village vicinity, most of them belonging to special forces that are preparing – as soon as they receive the order – to lie in wait for IDF forces, alongside a "welcome" of various demolition charges, anti-tank missiles and pits filled with explosives.
'Ready for a surprise.' Colonel Marley (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
The IDF decided to present the information in order to demonstrate Hezbollah's scope of activity against Israel, four years after the Second Lebanon War.
The information also revealed that hundreds of short-range mortar shells and rockets have been stored in al-Khiam, and as in the past, intentionally placed adjacent to public institutions, schools and medical facilities.
A military source told Ynet that the images from al-Khiam are not exclusive, and that similar operations were taking place in the entire area. "What you see in this village, you can see in all villages in southern Lebanon. There are some 20,000 activists whose job is, in fact, to act against IDF forces from within the village. When the time comes, they will give our forces a real fight," the source said.
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