Country Risk

Israeli general says Syria has resumed weapons production for Hizbullah

17 June 2016
A still taken from Syrian state television coverage shows a Tishrin missile system during an exercise in 2012. Source: Syria TV

Syria has resumed industrial production of weapons for Hizbullah, Major General Herzi Halevi, the head of Israeli Military Intelligence, said on 15 June.

Speaking at the annual Herzliya Conference, Maj Gen Halevi added that when combined with Iranian weapons trafficking to Hizbullah, the resumption of Syrian production could ignite another war, warning that Israel "nor the rest of the world should accept it. It could escalate [into] the next conflict".

He did not say what weapons Syria is producing for Hizbullah, but IHS Jane's understands they include "guided rockets", a possible reference to Syria's Tishrin (also known as the M-600) version of the Iranian Fateh-110 tactical ballistic missile. Iranian officials say the latest Fateh-110 versions have a range of 300 km.

The Israeli defence establishment is particularly concerned about the growing number of such weapons in Hizbullah's possession as they could be used to carry out precision attacks against strategic targets deep inside Israeli territory.

Maj Gen Halevi also warned that "the dynamics of escalation" could lead to an unintended conflict. "We live in an era in which it is most likely for wars to begin even though neither side is interested in them," he said.

He also alluded to what he described as Israel's unprecedented intelligence capabilities against Hizbullah, hinting that the Lebanese organisation has been extensively infiltrated. "No military has had more intelligence on their enemies as we do about Hizbullah today," he said.

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