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Hezbollah obtains Russian-made anti-ship missiles: reports

Israel sees Iran and Lebanese ally Hezbollah (pictured) as its greatest existential threat, a view shared by the leaders of the region's main Sunni Arab states
ANWAR AMRO (AFP/File)
Lebanese President Michel Aoun warned that attempts to attack Israel would be met with strong response

The Lebanese Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group has obtained at least eight Russian-made anti-ship Yakhnot missiles, the Hebrew Media outlet Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.

The missiles, which were reportedly smuggled through Syrian territory, are considered the most effective anti-ship arsenals in existence and comprise a threat to Israel's vessels and gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea. There is no known anti- missile technology that could prevent destruction from Yakhnot missiles and Israeli intelligence had already determined that, if obtained by Hezbollah, they would be a great threat to Israel.

Hezbollah received a warning that Israel would attack with great force if the group decided to attack Israel, Yeditoth Ahronoth reported on Sunday.

The warning was issued to Lebanese President Michel Aoun by another Arab state during an official visit, according to the London-based Arabic publication Al-Hayat.

The comments came in response to a threat made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday who called on Israel to dismantle its Dimona nuclear facility and ammonia storage facility in Haifa, warning that they would be targeted in the group's next war with Israel.

The source, which related the details to, Al-Hayat, warned Aoun that Israel is closely monitoring Lebanese military capabilities and its military presence in Syria. The source also asserted that the warning from Israel to Lebanon likely came with a reminder that Israel is adequately prepared to destroy Hezbollah's military strongholds.

The warning also included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ability to garner support from other Arab states in the region and that Israel will have more support against Hezbollah with President Donald Trump in the White House, due to his close, personal ties to Netanyahu.

According to Al-Hayat, the warning came as a part of a briefing received by Lebanese President Michel Aoun during an official visit to another Arab state. The Lebanese president was briefed on ties growing stronger between the US and Israel, which is a growing cause for concern in the Arab world.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun issued a warning to Israel on Saturday that any attempts to violate Lebanon's sovereignty would be met with the "appropriate response."

"Any attempt to hurt Lebanese sovereignty or expose the Lebanese to danger will find the appropriate response," Aoun said in an official statement released by his office, according to Reuters.

Aoun's warning came in response to remarks made in a letter sent earlier this week to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres by Israel's UN ambassador Danny Danon regarding regarding a statement by the Lebanese leader earlier in the week that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group plays “a complementary role to the Lebanese army” in battling Israel.

The statement from Aoun's office on Saturday did not offer any details on the referenced Israeli remarks, but said it considered them a "masked attempt to threaten security and stability" in the country's southern territory.

The Iran-backed militia Hezbollah never disarmed after Lebanon's devastating 1975-90 civil war and is the country's most powerful armed force.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said Thursday that all of Lebanon would be a target if Hezbollah fired on Israel.

With its formidable arsenal of missiles trained on the Jewish State, Hezbollah remains the most serious military threat facing Israel, a national security think tank claimed in a report released last month.

Israel's military believes Hezbollah has between 100,000 and 120,000 short- and medium-range missiles and rockets, as well as several hundred long-range missiles, with the medium-range missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

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