Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

'Hezbollah boosting drone unit'

Shiite terror group said to be bolstering UAV unit in order to attack Israel in case it strikes Iran

Hezbollah has been allocating increased resources towards bolstering its drone unit, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.


The Shiite terror groups reportedly plans to use its unmanned aerial vehicle to attack Israel in case it mounts a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.


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Hezbollah is equipped with Ababil ("Swallow") drones, which are manufactured and provided by Iran.


The Ababil has several models, including one that can carry a warhead packed with several dozens of kilograms of explosives.


Defense establishment officials expressed concern that Hezbollah would be able to send multiple drones into Israel's airspace and have them crash into targets in the country's north.


"Hezbollah is making a specific effort to acquire such (weapons) as part of its offensive lineup against Israel," a security source told Yedioth Ahronoth.


"As far as they are concerned, it's a sure thing: The Ababil is a relatively cheap weapon, which the Iranians give them for free, anyway.


"It takes a short time to master and its loss doesn't not involve sacrificing human lives. Another advantage for them is that it's a very small aircraft that's hard to detect and shoot down."


The first Ababil drones were given to Hezbollah in 2002. The Shiite group had previously launched several of them into Israeli airspace, mostly as a power play.


Hezbollah attempted to use the drones during the Second Lebanon War, sending two UAVs, carrying 40-50kg of explosives each into Israeli airspace.


The aircrafts were spotted by IAF radars and F-16 jets were scrambled to intercept them. One drone was shot down and the other crashed, causing no harm.


IDF sources said that the Air Force's anti-missile lineup has been adapting its defensive doctrines to the increasing threat.


Meanwhile, diplomatic sources told the Lebanese newspaper al-Nahar that both Lebanese authorities and Hezbollah said that they "would not be opposed" Israel's intention to construct a separation fence on the border near Metulah.


According to the diplomats, the matter was agreed upon in a joint meeting between Israeli representatives, Lebanon and UNIFIL.


Israel hopes the one kilometer long border would prevent drug smuggling and security incidents with Israeli farmers who work near the border.


Elior Levy contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 04.27.12, 13:03
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