The Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group is constructing at least two underground facilities in Lebanon for manufacturing missiles and other weaponry, according to a report by the French Intelligence Online magazine.
While reports of these subterranean weapons facilities have been published in Arab media outlets before, the Intelligence Online article included two previously unknown pieces of information: the type of weaponry being produced and the approximate locations of two factories.
Sources told the French industry magazine that one of the factories is being built in northern Lebanon, near the town of Hermel in the eastern Bekaa Valley. The second facility is reportedly being constructed along the southern coast, between the towns of Sidon and Tyre.
According to Intelligence Online, the Hermel facility is being used to produce the Fateh 110, a medium-range missile. The southern facility, meanwhile, will be used to make smaller munitions.
The Fateh 110 has a range of approximately 190 miles (300 kilometers) — enough to cover most of the State of Israel — and can carry a half-ton warhead. It is considered fairly accurate, though to what extent is a matter of debate, according to a US Congressional Research Service report.
Israel’s David’s Sling missile defense battery, which went operational in April, is meant to protect the Jewish state against medium-range rockets like the Fateh 110.
In March, the Kuwaiti al-Jarida newspaper reported that Iran had established multiple facilities some 50 meters belowground and protected them with multiple layers of defenses from potential Israeli aerial bombardment, citing an unnamed deputy head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The Iranian general was quoted by al-Jarida as saying that the decision to produce rockets indigenously in Lebanon came after Israel bombed weapons factories in Sudan and supply routes for Iranian rockets via Syria.
The new factories would mark a dramatic upgrade in Hezbollah’s ability to acquire additional, and more precise rockets than ever before.
Rockets produced by some of the new facilities have already been used by Hezbollah in battles in Syria, the Kuwaiti report said.
The latest developments highlight the depth of Iran’s involvement in Syria and Lebanon, something that both Israel and some Arab states have warned against in recent months. READ MORE