New Display at Lebanese Museum Features Hezbollah’s ‘Air Force’
A new display at a Hezbollah museum in southern Lebanon features the Shi’a terror group’s “air force” of unmanned drones, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) think tank revealed on Thursday, citing recent media reports.
The display is located at the “Mleeta Resistance Tourist Landmark,” about 45 kilometers north of the border with Israel. The site is run by the Lebanese Association for Tourism and Tradition.
“Unmanned drones (“RPAV” is the term today — Remotely Piloted Air Vehicle) are being used throughout the Middle East for surveillance, combat, targeting, platforms for bombs and missiles, and as “suicide” drones (in effect, cruise missiles),” the JCPA wrote. “RPAVs’ endurance and range can reach many hours and hundreds of kilometers. Iranian-made drones are now flying in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Over the last decade, they have attempted to enter Israeli airspace from Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza.”
“Defense planners are also watching for ‘drone swarms,’ an Iranian military tactic developed for swarming fast boats in the Persian Gulf,” the JCPA said. “Jane’s Defense Weekly revealed in 2015 that satellite photo analyses discovered a Hizbullah drone airstrip in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, built between 2013 and 2014.”
The JCPA further pointed out that the “drones on display have been given Hezbollah names, but their designation does not hide the fact that they are all of Iranian origin. Some of the drones’ twins also appear in the Houthi and Hamas orders of battle, particularly the ‘Ababil’ RPAV.”
“Iranian drone bases in Syria provide easy access for Hezbollah fighters and shared intelligence between Hezbollah and the Iranian army and Revolutionary Guards,” it added.