Israeli’s next challenge: Precision-guided missiles in Gaza - THE LATEST NEWS HEADLINES TODAY

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Israeli’s next challenge: Precision-guided missiles in Gaza

Israeli’s next challenge: Precision-guided missiles in Gaza
The Iranian issue has recently made its way back to the top of the global agenda in general, and the Israeli agenda in particular: Starting from US President Donald Trump’s threats to walk away from the nuclear agreement, through Tehran’s involvement in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen and the warming relations with Hamas, to the growing presence of Revolutionary Guards’ representatives on the Golan Heights border.

Looking at this list as it grows longer, many Israeli defense officials believe the most significant challenge concerning Iran these days has to do with the potential for self-production of precision-guided weapons—converting simple rockets, through wingtip devices and other components, into missiles that are capable of hitting their target with an accuracy of some tens of meters. In light of the tight connection to Hezbollah and the improving relations with Hamas, this a very troubling weapon as far as Israel is concerned.

Rockets in the Gaza Strip. An Iranian upgrade coming soon?  (Photo: Reuters)
Rockets in the Gaza Strip. An Iranian upgrade coming soon?
The knowledge required for upgrading the missiles already exists, and Iran’s military industry factories are advanced in this field. In addition to its expansion in the region, Iran intends to produce rockets in Syria too and set up a factory in Lebanon to perform the conversion into precision-guided missiles.

This plan isn’t limited to the Lebanese-Syrian arena. Iran wants to build similar factories in Yemen for its allies, the Houthi rebels, who

Against this background, Israel is watching the Gaza Strip with a great amount of concern: As part of the warming relations with Hamas, Iran will likely seek to produce precision-guided missiles in Gaza too. Only recently, during a visit by senior organization members to Tehran, the Iranian foreign minister’s advisor, Hussein Sheikh al-Islam, promised that “Iran will give Hamas whatever Hamas asks for and Iran can comply with.”

At the moment, there is no concrete operation taking place in Lebanon, Yemen or Gaza, but the planning and thought do exist. According to foreign sources, the Israel Air Force occasionally strikes in Syria to prevent the transfer of components and weapons aimed at helping in Hezbollah and Iran’s effort.

Russia caught between Assad and Israel
Furthermore, the Israeli defense establishment is concerned by a possible deployment of Iranian elements and pro-Iranian forces in the Golan Heights, a move which is likely only in its infancy. It’s still unclear who was responsible for the rockets fired into Israel from Syria on Saturday. In any event, the Syrian Golan Heights is currently filled with a mixture of elements: Some of the areas are controlled by the regime (especially in the northern and central Golan), other areas are in the hands of rebel groups sitting just along the border in the central Golan, and the ISIS-affiliated Khalid ibn al-Walid Army is waiting on the tripoint in the southern Golan.

The Syrian regime is trying to regain territory in the Golan. There have been many reports recently on massive bombings carried out by the regime near the town of Beit Jann, at the foot of the Syrian Mount Hermon. Syrian President Bashar Assad appears to be progressing in a relatively fixed manner, which has been successful in other areas in Syria too: Shelling and an ongoing siege on a village until its residents surrender.
control different areas, including the capital of Sanaa, and are in a war against the Saudi-led coalition and the forces of Yemen’s official president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

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