Israeli PM Netanyahu Says Hezbollah Shuttered Precision-Guided Missile Plants After Exposure
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah had shut down plants to develop precision-guided missiles after Israel exposed them, and currently had at most just “a few dozen” of the weapons.
There was no immediate comment from Hezbollah, which fought a war with Israel in 2006.
Netanyahu has accused Hezbollah — a Shi’a proxy of the Iranian regime — of developing and stockpiling weapons capable of targeting his country’s key infrastructure.
In a Sept. 7 speech to the United Nations, he named three locations near Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport where he said the group was turning “inaccurate projectiles” into precision-guided missiles.
At the time, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, a political ally of Hezbollah, dismissed Israel‘s accusations and accused Netanyahu of trying to “justify another aggression” against Lebanon.
Netanyahu told an economic conference on Wednesday: “Those sites near the Beirut airport, the underground sites for precision conversion of missiles, which (Israeli) military intelligence gave me, to expose, those sites were closed.”
“They are trying to open other sites,” he said, without elaborating on where they might be located. “But through these measures we are denying them precision arms,” Netanyahu added.
Hezbollah had hoped to obtain “thousands of precision-guided missile (but) they have, at most, a few dozen,” he said.
On Sept. 20, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said his group had obtained “precision and non-precision rockets and weapons capabilities” despite Israel‘s air strikes in Syria.
Israel has attacked suspected arms transfers to Hezbollah through neighboring Syria.