Hezbollah armed strength

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Hezbollah 220mm rocket launcher in Lebanon
Hezbollah rocket launcher in Lebanon

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Hezbollah

In October 2006 Hezbollah claimed to have an arsenal of at least 33,000 rockets.[1] The Pentagon believes that Hezbollah has a rocket arsenal of around 30.000.[citation needed] According to IranTracker, estimates of Hezbollah’s overall missile arsenal range from 40,000 to 50,000 large-caliber munitions of all kinds.[1] Israel estimates that Hezbollah has about 40,000, most of them shorter-range rockets and mortar shells.[2]Katyusha rockets were the main offensive weapons used by Hezbollah in the 2006 Lebanon War in which it fired some 3,970 rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon, killing 44 Israeli civilians and 118 soldiers.[2][3][4][5][6]


Weapons[edit]

Small arms[edit]

Anti-tank[edit]

Hezbollah's rocket and missile force[7][8]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic handgun Belgium
AKM Assault rifle USSR
Type 56 Assault rifle China Chinese AKM clone
M16 Assault rifle USA Used by Hezbollah's elite unite
AKS-74U Submachine gun USSR
PK machine gun General purpose machine gun USSR
Dragunov Sniper Rifle USSR
Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
RPG-7 Rocket propelled grenade USSR
AT-3 Sagger Anti-tank Guided Weapon USSR
9M133 Kornet Anti-tank Guided Weapon Russia
Rocket/missile (Hezbollah designation) Diameter (mm)[citation needed] Range (km) Warhead (kg) Number
Katyusha M-21OF 122 20 21 1300
M-27 220 40 100 2200
Fajr-5 (Khaibar-1) 333 75 90 80
Zelzal-2 610 100-400 600 ~10

Short range[edit]

The main arsenal of Hezbollah's rocket force consists of over 5,000 rockets,[9] including the 122mm M-21OF rockets which have a range of 25 km. Hezbollah is also believed to have fired Shahin I missile which was described as a Ra'ad 1 missile by Hezbollah's TV station and has a range of 13 km.[7] However, the vast majority of their rocket arsenal are made up of 122mm Katyusha rockets.[10]

Fajr rockets[edit]

Hezbollah also possesses longer range rockets, namely the Fajr-5 rocket which has a range of 45 km ; the missile was fired into Israel in the 2006 conflict.[7] It was reported that in 2006 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) believed that Hezbollah had some 100 Fajr rockets.[11]

Fadjr rockets are normally fired on tank-mounted multiple launch systems. Before 2000, the rockets delivered to Hezbollah were believed to have come individually and to be fired from improvised missile launchers. The launching crew could fire the rockets remotely to avoid enemy's counter-battery fire. In early 2001, it became known that Hezbollah had deployed a belt of mobile multi-barreled rocket launchers and truck-mounted missiles along Israel’s northern border in preparation of a conflict with Israel.[12]

Zelzal-2 rockets[edit]

According to Iran and Israel,[13] Hezbollah possesses the more potent Zelzal-2 which has a claimed range of 200–400 km, while a more conservative assessment estimates the range at 100 km. The Iranian-manufactured missile could reach Tel Aviv from Lebanon. The missile can be fitted with a 600 kg high-explosive warhead and has a solid fuel system that allows it to be easily transported and prepared for firing. Although these are unguided missiles, they could cause serious damages if launched towards urban areas.

A report by Agence France Presse during the 2006 Lebanon War estimated a stockpile of 30 missiles of the Zelzal type, most of which are believed to have been destroyed by the IAF.[13][14] However, Hezbollah is known to built a greater weapons arsenal both quality and quantity-wise ever since the war.

Scud ballistic missiles[edit]

Israel said that Hezbollah has possession of Scud missiles that were provided to them by Syria. US officials believe hezbollah to have possession of these missiles as well.[8] The reports were denied by Syria.[15]

Anti-ship missile[edit]

On 14 July 2006, Hezbollah forces fired an anti-ship missile, at the Israeli corvette INS Hanit, killing four sailors and inflicting substantial damage. A second missile sunk a Cambodian vessel crewed by Egyptian sailors, although no deaths were reported.[12] The Israeli military believes that Iranian advisers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) were present at the launch during the attack.[16] Iran has denied involvement in the incident.[17]

Unmanned aerial vehicle[edit]

Iran has supplied Hezbollah with Mohajer-4 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).[12] These have flown successfully into Israeli airspace in November 2004 and April 2005.

Supply and training[edit]

According to the United States, Iran has provided weapons to Hezbollah as well as provided training and funding. In addition, Syria has permitted Iran to use Damascus as a transshipment point to supply Hezbollah.[18]

In another report, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has helped build Hezbollah's underground storerooms in the Bekaa Valley to hold huge amounts of missiles and ammunition. Hezbollah's missile force includes some 200 technicians and experts trained in Iran.[19] The Zelzal-2 rockets require expertise to aim and launch effectively, and Hezbollah may require direct support from Iranian Revolutionary Guards to operate the rockets.[12]

2006 Lebanon War[edit]

Map showing some of the Israeli localities attacked by rockets fired from Lebanese soil.
Main article: 2006 Lebanon War

During the 2006 Lebanon War Hezbollah fired about 3,699 rockets into Israel, killing 44 civilians.[20]

On August 6, 2006 (one week before the end of the conflict) Israeli officials believed that its operation destroyed the vast majority of Hezbollah's longer-range rockets and about a third of the shorter range rockets, such as Katyushas. The group did, however, still have many short-range rockets which are smaller and easier to hide or store underground, and can be set up and fired in a few minutes.[16][21]

On August 13, 2006, the day before the negotiated ceasefire was to come into effect, Hezbollah launched its fiercest barrage, firing 250 rockets into Israel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ MSNBC: Hezbollah says its rockets can hit all of Israel
  2. ^ "Safed: Man seriously injured in Katyusha attack". Ynet. 2006-07-14. 
  3. ^ "Anxious northern Israel endures rocket fire". CNN. 2006-07-14. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Katyusha rockets hit Galilee". Ynetnews. 2006-07-13. 
  5. ^ "Northern Israel under attack; missile fired at Haifa". Ynetnews. 2006-07-14. 
  6. ^ Dakroub, Hussein (2006-08-01). "Israel sends armored troops into Lebanon". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 
  7. ^ a b c "Hezbollah's rocket force". BBC. 2006-07-18. 
  8. ^ a b Harel, Amos (2010-04-13). "Syria is shipping Scud missiles to Hezbollah". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  9. ^ http://israelstreet.org/?p=4612 1/2012
  10. ^ McGregor, Andrew. "The Jamestown Foundation: Hezbollah's Rocket Strategy". Jamestown.org. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  11. ^ "Hezbollah’s missile arsenal and rocket threat". BICOM. 2006-07-16. Archived from the original on 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Hizballah Rockets". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  13. ^ a b http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/Iran-We-supplied-Zelzal-2-to-Hizbullah
  14. ^ The International Institute For Strategic Studies (2006-07-21). "Agence France Presse - Lebanese army faces no-win situation". Archived from the original on 2006-07-25. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  15. ^ "Syria: Israel's Scud accusation may be pretense for attack". Haaretz.com. 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  16. ^ a b Gardner, Frank (2006-08-03). "Hezbollah missile threat assessed". BBC. 
  17. ^ "Iran to supply Hezbollah with surface-to-air missiles". Agence France-Presse. 2006-08-04. 
  18. ^ Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (2006-04-28). "Country Reports on Terrorism: State Sponsors of Terror Overview". Retrieved 2006-07-17. 
  19. ^ "Iranian Assistance to Hizbullah. Iran Revolutionary Guards Officer: Hizbullah Has Iran-Trained Diver, Naval Commando Units; We Have Constructed Command Rooms for Hizbullah; Iranian Martyrdom Forces Have Been Sent To Lebanon". Memri.org. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  20. ^ "Middle East crisis: Facts and figures". BBC. 2006-08-31. 
  21. ^ Edward Cody and Molly Moore (2006-08-05) "Israeli Warplanes Hit Lebanon's Christian Areas," The Washington Post.

External links[edit]