Hizbullah, Aided by Iran, Said Building New Missile Factory in Beirut
Iranian proxy Hizbullah reportedly has completed construction on a new missile factory in Beirut, which could be sheltered from an Israeli attack due to its location in a densely populated area. According to Israeli media, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shared the intelligence with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during the latter’s visit to Israel earlier this month. Thereafter, the top American diplomat traveled to Lebanon, where he apparently conveyed the information – along with a warning about the associated dangers – to Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Tehran has actively been trying to transfer to Hizbullah advanced technology that can transform rudimentary projectiles into precision-guided missiles. The Islamic Republic originally hoped to achieve this aim by transporting components and weaponry to Lebanon overland via Syria; however, the Israel Air Force effectively has thwarted this effort by conducting hundreds of strikes targeting the arms convoys. Reports then surfaced that Tehran was using cargo planes to fly weaponry directly into the Lebanese capital, which placed its international airport at risk. Finally, Hizbullah, facilitated by Iranian expertise, changed tack once more by purportedly accelerating the construction of underground military facilities in central regions in Lebanon. In his address to the United Nations General Assembly in September, Netanyahu revealed satellite imagery depicting what he claimed were numerous facilities used by Hizbullah to manufacture state-of-the-art weaponry capable of reaching the entirety of the Jewish state and striking within meters of their intended target.