Israeli military says Hezbollah evacuating the Bekaa Valley site, which was used to develop and enhance high-accuracy missiles, out of fear of strikes
The Israeli army announced Tuesday that it identified a Hezbollah precision missile development and enhancement site, which is operated in partnership with Iran.
The Shi’ite group has begun evacuating the site over the past several days out of fear of strikes in the area, the Israeli army stated.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, the Hezbollah project was intended to improve the organization’s crude missiles, so that they could reach a range of over 100 kilometers (62 miles), and their strike radius will be up to ten meters from the intended target.
The compound, the IDF says, is located near Nabi Chit in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. It is an area that has recently been serving as an assembly line for precision weapons, and transfers of equipment needed for the project have been observed there. The equipment, the army claims, was cleared out in past days to civilian areas throughout Lebanon, including in Beirut.
The IDF designated the compound as being of “high importance” to Hezbollah in its attempts to obtain precision missiles that it will aim at Israel, and Tehran is participating in arming it, training its workers and supervising the site.
A number of compounds were photographed on the grounds of the site, which was established a few years ago for weapon construction. One of the compounds is intended for the construction of motors, another for quality control, a third for explosive warheads and a fourth for logistics.
Last week, the IDF released details of Hezbollah’s precision missile project, and blamed Iran and Hezbollah for accelerating it over the past year. According to an Israeli army announcement, Hezbollah has dozens of precision missiles, but as of yet, every attempt to establish a system with Iran to mass produce them has been stopped. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented parts of the missile project in a speech to the United Nations last year.
Prior to that, Hezbollah attributed to Israel a strike on one of the organization’s sites in Beirut’s Dahiyeh suburb last week. A central component of Hezbollah’s missile program was damaged in the attack – an industrial-sized planetary mixer for making propellants that can help mass-produce missiles and improve their accuracy. As far as is known, the mixer was damaged shortly before Hezbollah requested to transfer it to a secured site.