IDF: Israel in Range of Nearly 65,000 Hezbollah, Iran, Syria Rockets

Hezbollah has some 60,000 rockets and missiles, is developing drones, sea-to-air missiles, IDF top brass tells Knesset committee.

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Some 3,500 missiles in Syria and Iran are currently aimed at Israel, while Hezbollah is developing drones and sea-to-air missiles, Brig. Gen. Itay Baron, head of the IDF Military Intelligence research section, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.

Hezbollah has some 60,000 rockets and missiles - 10 times what it had in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Naveh said at a Zichron Yaakov convention.

Baron told the Knesset committee that Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria are all trying to find ways to undermine Israel's military and technological superiority to damage Israel's weak spot, the home front. Baron added that all three are constructing military systems that would exhaust Israel's civilian populations, while augmenting their ability to absorb Israeli attacks by arming themselves with masses of rockets and missiles. Hezbollah, while developing drones for offensive purposes, has already received sea-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, as well as explosives and camouflage equipment. Baron added that Iran has an arsenal of 450 missiles in striking distance of Israel. Syria has 3,000 rockets and missiles, covering ranges from 70 to 700 kilometers. Baron said the missiles were not very precise, but the surface-to-air Russian-made defense systems were quite technologically advanced.

Naveh said Hezbollah's swift arms increase over the past six years is part of its effort "to reach a situation where quantity is part of quality, and a quick blow at Israeli cities could produce a victory photo."

The estimates detailed by Naveh inform the IDF's fighting strategy in case of a war with the Lebanese Shi'ite force. The IDF examined scenarios that include hundreds or thousands of missiles landing inside Israel, some of them accurate enough to damage infrastructure that provides water and electricity, as well as IDF headquarters and institutions of Israeli sovereignty.

Naveh added that Syria, too, has hundreds of precise missile systems and the IDF believes the Syrian government preserved its chemical warfare capabilities, as well as investing some $3 billion in anti-aircraft systems. The anti-aircraft systems could be the Syrian army's only major recent investment, Naveh said, adding: "This shouldn't be of interest to the IDF alone, but should concern all of the Western world."

Brig. Gen Itay Baron, left, and MK Ronny Bar-On at the Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday.Credit: Emil Salman

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