Hezbollah is raising its missile threat to Israel by smuggling advanced weapons into Lebanon piece by piece to evade Israeli detection, U.S. officials say.
The weapons, sneaked in for the Shiite Islamic militant group from Syria, include as many as 12 Russian Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, current and former U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal, citing previously undisclosed intelligence.
Other systems that can target Israeli aircraft, ships and bases are stored in Syrian weapons depots under Hezbollah control, the officials said.
But Hezbollah doesn’t appear to have all the components needed to make a complete guided-missile system, the officials said.
“To make it lethal, a system needs to be complete,” a senior defense official told the newspaper.
“Hezbollah is pretty…good,” a senior U.S. official added. “And they are patient.”
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