U.S. officials say Hezbollah is upgrading missiles

Hezbollah operatives are smuggling components of advanced guided missiles from Syria to Lebanon, U.S. officials said.

Operatives from the Shi’ite terrorist group have been moving the components in parts to avoid detection and airstrikes by Israel, unnamed officials told the Wall Street Journal. As many as 12 guided-missile systems may now be in Hezbollah’s possession inside Syria, the newspaper said.

Hezbollah will be able to target aircraft, ships and bases with the new systems, which include supersonic Yakhont rockets, the journal reported on Jan. 3. Such guided weapons would be a major step up from the “dumb” rockets and missiles Hezbollah now has, and could sharply increase the group’s ability to deter Israel in any  battle, the officials said.

U.S. and Israeli officials also said several strikes last year attributed to Israel stopped shipments of anti-aircraft weapons and ground-to-ground Fateh-110 rockets to Hezbollah locations in Lebanon.  — jta