Saturday 22 June 2024 - 02:29

Hezbollah’s Undetected Surveillance Drone Flight Over Haifa Has Much to Say About Future War

Story Code : 1143060
Hezbollah’s Undetected Surveillance Drone Flight Over Haifa Has Much to Say About Future War
In the latest military development, Hezbollah on Thursday published a 9-minute footage, captioned "what the Hod Hod (Hoopoe) brought", displaying a high-resolution video of the Israeli military sites, facilities, air defenses including the Iron Dome, Rafael military industries, ammunition and missile storehouses, ports, and airport of Haifa.

The video also shows the command building of the submarine unit, Saar 4 frigate that is designated for logistical support, and the Saar 5 frigate. With the release of these images, Hezbollah announced in a statement that its drones passed through the enemy's air defense and returned to the base without being detected.

Major General Wasef Erekat, a military expert, confirmed that what Hezbollah disclosed in this video was the "most precious target bank... The message has been received and what is happening now is not a turf war, but a war of awareness. This action proved that Israel's invincible army lost and retreated."

The release of sensitive information of the occupied territories by Hezbollah drones takes place at a time when the government of Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday the plan to attack areas of southern Lebanon. The Israeli army announced in a statement that "as part of the assessment of the situation, operational plans for attacking Lebanon were approved."

The coincidence of the intensified Israeli threats with Hezbollah’s military surprise made the Israeli officials not to ignore this reality. The Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz immediately after the release of the footage made an effort to downplay Hezbollah’s large-scale success in the surveillance operation, saying that "Nasrallah boasts today about filming the ports of Haifa, operated by large international companies from China and India, and threatens to destroy them... We are very close to the moment of deciding to change the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon. In an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be dealt a devastating blow."

Israeli media astonishment by Hezbollah power

But while the Israeli officials tried to evade telling the truth to their public about the aspects of Hezbollah’s major drone success, the Israeli media voiced their astonishment about the easy penetration of Hezbollah's drone deep into the occupied territories and its collection of sensitive intelligence from sites, infrastructures, and strategic military facilities. 

Israeli media reported that Hezbollah has taken aerial photographs of the port of Haifa without any Israeli military disturbance. They added that the Lebanese movement threatened the port of Haifa by taking pictures using drones. 

Suggesting that the footage contains the most worrisome documents since the start of war, the Israeli media outlets said that the Haifa port is obviously seen in the footage, and Hezbollah published aerial pictures of Saar frigates and sensitive sites. 

Some of these media outlets sarcastically said that "during the two days that Hezbollah allowed us to sleep comfortablely, it was focused on photographing strategic sites in Haifa port city." 

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Israeli air defense will never manage to fully engage drones flown by Hezbollah. 

The Israeli media held that Hezbollah has reacted to the threats in such a way that if Israel takes a step against Lebanon, the targets within Hezbollah’s reach will not be small or insignificant.

They further maintained that the longer the war in Gaza goes on, the more confident Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah gets. The nature of this war allows Hezbollah to gain more because it is a war of attrition. The mayor of Haifa asked Netanyahu's cabinet to find a military solution to eliminate the threat. 

Hezbollah’s serial surprises 

Infiltration of Israel was just one among other military feats Hezbollah unveiled in recent months to shatter any Israeli cabinet hardliners' illusion that they are capable of opening a front against Lebanon. 

Earlier, Hezbollah unveiled guided missiles capable of recording and sending images to their operators while flying towards the targets. 

Also, on May 17, Hezbollah for their first time unveiled a drone equipped with two S5 air-to-ground missiles that fly separately, something showing that the several-decade Israeli air superiority has lost its credit and that Hezbollah from now on can strike from air. 

Another Hezbollah surprise was unveiled earlier in June, when the movement published the moment its Almas (Diamond) rocket striking the much-vaunted Iron Dome air defense battery, provoking serious worries of Israelis. For some time Israeli officials have been boasting about the high capabilities of the Iron Dome interceptors to engage rockets and drones, but penetration of this air defense system by Hezbollah drones shifted the deterrence equations between Hezbollah and Israel. 

Hezbollah hands open in case of all-out war 

As the Israeli officials have already launched a massive media propaganda about the readiness for large-scale invasion of Lebanon, Hezbollah based on the principles of balance of threat has unleashed new aspects of its military operations in recent months. 

Since the beginning of the Gaza war, Hezbollah targeted the occupied territories within a radius of a few kilometers in a calculated manner and within the framework of the conflict rules in order to prevent the escalation of the war, but with the prolongation of the war in Gaza and the increase in the crimes of the occupiers against the defenseless Palestinian people, the movement, too, expanded the domain of its missile operations. 

The missiles and drones of Hezbollah now not only strike the military sites and settlements near the Lebanese borders, but also they reach areas 50 kilometers from Lebanon. The most important factor that contributes to Hezbollah’s missile and drone attacks in this stage of war is its operations in the past months that destroyed Israeli border surveillance posts and radars, especially Meron airbase as the Israeli spying eye in the northern mountainous region. 

Hezbollah's unveiling of new weapons is a serious warning to Netanyahu's government that any adventure in Lebanon will have a heavy price. Although the Israeli officials have repeatedly acknowledged the power of Hezbollah's missile arsenal in recent years and have roughly estimated the amount of its weapons reserves, the developments after the Gaza war and the unveiling of new weapons have messed up the calculations of the Israelis concerning the accurate number of weapons of the Hezbollah.

Hezbollah’s leaders say that what they have so far unveiled is the tip of the iceberg of their arsenal, and in case of war they will open "gates of hell" to the enemy. Even this small part of Hezbollah arsenal has grabbed calm from the Israelis over the past 9 months. It displaced over 70,000 settlers from border settlements and caused huge fires, and it is expected that in case of Israeli suicidal war on Lebanon, Tel Aviv will sustain a defeat worse than that of 2006. 

Hezbollah has now become a regular and organized army equipped with the most advanced weapons and 100,000 fighters. Some Western sources estimated this number as 50,000 (30,000 active forces and 20,000 reservists).

Sky News reported that Hezbollah has 100,000 missiles, but other sources stated that this number is between 150,000 and 200,000. 

Therefore, with the accurate target bank Hezbollah has built over years through surveillance flights over the sensitive economic, intelligence, and military sites in the occupied territories combined with pinpoint missiles, in case of war, Israeli vital infrastructures including Haifa ammonia storages are expected to be struck. 

Hezbollah military action shows that in case of war, the movement can drag the war to the depth of Israeli regime and trigger bigger waves of reverse migration and street protests. 

It is noteworthy that Hezbollah chief had earlier warned that in case of a broader conflict, more than two million Israelis will be displaced, sometime that would certainly topple Netanyahu government. 

Another strategic weapon of Hezbollah in the battle with the Israeli army is its drones, which can directly target the Iron Dome air defense batteries. Hezbollah's reconnaissance drones will also play an important role in the war equations and by obtaining information from sensitive sites, they will allow the resistance forces to target these strategic places with the use of precision missiles. Hezbollah kamikaze, reconnaissance and missile-carrying drones, if used in large numbers, will put the Israeli air defenses in tight spot. 

Additionally, Hezbollah unveiled its air defense, signaling that it can shoot down Israel's F-16 fighters, with which Tel Aviv boasts of air superiority in the region. 

Hezbollah’s anti-tank and anti-ship missiles pose another nightmare to Israel in a possible war that will evoke the memory of the 33-day war. 

Hezbollah also has a network of tunnels and trenches along the occupied Palestinian borders that could surprise Israel at various points along the border during the war. These secret tunnels allow Hezbollah to target Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers with snipers, anti-tank missiles and light-weight drones. Among the other capabilities of this network of tunnels is the penetration of Hezbollah forces deep into the occupied territories. Taking advantage of the natural features of northern front, Hezbollah asymmetric war forces can strike more effective and accurate than 18 years ago. 

Given the post-Ocober 7 developments, Tel Aviv may choose war over diplomatic negotiations to restore security in the north and to undermine Hezbollah. Now it remains to see if Netanyahu will risk an invasion of Lebanon or pick tension control policy. What the experts assert is that Israel cannot penetrate Lebanon since it is already deeply stuck in Gaza and is far from having the capacity to take on Hezbollah.