IDF shifts focus to Lebanon as Hizbollah gains firepower

By Anna Sheinman, March 25, 2013

The Israel Defence Force is shifting its focus from Syria to Lebanon due to Hizbollah’s recent acquisition of new weaponry, including thousands of anti-tank missiles.

As Syrian government forces have been pushed out of key areas the country, Iran and Hizbollah have gained access to sophisticated weapons stores. Israeli military intelligence chief Major General Aviv Kochavi said: “They are trying and in some cases succeeding to obtain air defence capabilities, shore-to-sea missiles, surface-to-surface missiles and other capabilities.”

This increased firepower for Hizbollah has led to the IDF changing the assignments of two of its reserve brigades last week. Both are now rehearsing manoeuvres for operations in Lebanon after years of focusing on Syria, Haaretz reported.

Training is also shifting focus to deal with anti-tank missiles, thousands of which have now fallen into the hands of Hizbollah, according to military sources.

The level of military activity on the Syrian border is the highest that it has been for many years. On Sunday, the IDF fired a missile at a Syrian machine gun post after to two rounds of gunfire emanated from across the border. Two Syrians were injured but no Israelis were hurt in the exchange.

Last updated: 11:30am, March 25 2013