Foreign Policy reported that a source close to Hezbollah leadership stated they are prepared to give Israel the biggest war yet and it will be nothing like the 2006. With its military reorganized, amassed weapons (including guided missiles) and equipment, Hezbollah could effectively have a go at Israeli air and naval assets and do some real damage.
The source outlined the differences between the 2006 war and what Hezbollah would be capable of today: Hezbollah fighters are well-seasoned and have tactical experience due to the ongoing Syrian war; they’ve been able to amass a large weapons cache, some of which are 100k+ rockets that are able to strike Israel’s third largest city, Haifa; and a complete military restructuring focusing on command and control.
The ongoing Syrian war is just what Hezbollah fighters needed to gain the tactical experience needed to fight regarding modern warfare. A few examples of what these fighters have learned can be seen in the border town of Shebba, Lebanon. These Hezbollah fighters carry out small attacks on Israel via Shebba on a near daily basis and are able to plant improvised explosive devices (IEDs) without being detected. A testament that these fighters are fast becoming a very serious threat to Israel and with these fighters having access to state of the art weapons, this threat may be imminent.
Hezbollah claims that is has in its possession: ‘tactical ballistic missiles, Scud missiles, Fateh-110 Iranian missiles, and M-600 missiles, a Syrian modified version of the Fateh-110.‘ These missiles can be accurately guided to hit specific targets in Israel that could damage Israel’s infrastructure as well as its military assets. It was only a few weeks ago that Hasan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, touted in a video-taped statement that Hezbollah had enough rockets to hit ammonia tanks located in Haifa thus causing the deaths of tens of thousands Israelis by unleashing the toxic gas.
Hezbollah’s command and control has been restructured and improving according to the inside source. Fighting in Syria led Hezbollah ‘to develop a sophisticated command-and-control structure, including advanced telecommunications networks, the use of drones for reconnaissance, and the ability to maintain long supply line’ with Israel ultimately being the target. Regarding the drones, Hezbollah has built airstrips for its drones that can accommodate the Iranian Shahed 129, a drone that has a dual purpose configurations: reconnaissance and combat. pp This report comes just after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) deemed Hezbollah a terrorist group in the latest feud between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The implications of this decision are not yet known as Hezbollah has not officially addressed this recent decision by the GCC. However, it would not be surprising if Hezbollah publicly condemned this decision with posturing its self-proclaimed military prowess through acts of violence and/or through the media.
Several reports on Hezbollah state it’s not seeking war with Israel as there are too many political factors in Lebanon, however, it doesn’t change the ever growing instability in the region nor Hezbollah’s willingness to take to the media to boast its military capabilities against the state of Israel.