Hizbullah Prepares for the Next War

(TIME) Nicholas Blanford - Recent conversations with Hizbullah fighters reveal an organization at the peak of its military powers, with an army of well-trained, disciplined and highly motivated combatants wielding advanced weaponry, cultivating new tactics and brimming with confidence. "The next war is coming, 100%, but we don't know when," says Ali, a Hizbullah fighter. "We have big plans for it. God willing, you will see the end of Israel." Since the end of its latest bout with the Israeli military in 2006, Hizbullah has built new defensive lines and firing positions, its fighters say, in the hills flanking the Bekaa Valley and along the rugged, mountainous spine running up the middle of southern Lebanon. Reports over the past year suggest that Hizbullah has received advanced Russian shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, and some fighters have been trained in Syria on larger truck-mounted missile systems. U.S. and Israeli intelligence sources say Hizbullah has also augmented its arsenal with larger, longer-range rockets with guidance capabilities. Many analysts believe that in the event of another war, Hizbullah plans to strike strategic targets deep inside Israel. The group is believed to have acquired Syrian-manufactured M-600 guided rockets. Its guidance system allows Hizbullah to target Israel's Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv from hidden bases in the northern Bekaa Valley.

2010-05-11 08:00:55

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