Hezbollah Builds Runway For Suicide Drones

Jane’s Defence Weekly reports that Hezbollah has built a runway in the morthern Bekaa Valley to be used for drones, likely Iranian-made UAVs. New satellite images shows the runway in an area 10 kilometers south of the Lebanese village of Hermel.
Jane’s states:

The short length of the runway suggests the facility is not intended to smuggle in weapons shipments from Syria or Iran as it is too short for nearly all the transport aircraft used by the air forces of those countries. An alternative explanation is that the runway was built for Iranian-made UAVs, including the Ababil-3, which has been employed over Syria by forces allied to the Syrian regime, and possibly the newer and larger Shahed-129.

In April, the U.S. Army reported that Iran is building “suicide kamikaze drones” and teaching the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas how to use them.

Written by the Army's Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the report asserts that “no aspect of Iran’s overt military program has seen as much development over the past decade as Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).Whereas a decade ago Iran’s UAVs and drones were largely for show, a platform with little if any capability, the Iranian military today boasts widespread use of drones, employed not only by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),
but also by the regular army, both regular and IRGC navy, and the regular and IRGC air forces.”



In February speech, according to the U.S. Army report, Iranian General Abdolrahim Moussavi spoke of his army’s increased reliance on drones, especially suicide or kamikaze drones.” The report added, “While it is easy to dismiss the idea of a suicide drone as more symbolic than real in an age of cruise missiles and precise Predators, utilizing suicide drones is an asymmetric strategy which both allows Iran to compete on an uneven playing field and poses a risk by allowing operators to pick and choose targets of opportunity over a drone’s multi-hour flight duration.” 

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