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Fateh-110 missiles on parade

Israeli Air Force routine missions over Lebanon’s airspace have been confronting in recent months a new kind of nuisance: Hezbollah provocations. According to security apparatus sources in Israel speaking to Walla, since the Russian military has begun its operations in Syria, including building military bases, Hezbollah has begun to lock its anti-aircraft missiles’ radar across Lebanon on incoming Israeli warplanes.

Those same IDF sources estimate that the increased Hezbollah provocations are the result of the tightening relationship between Russia and Hezbollah, as part of the campaign against ISIS in Syria. “The ties between Hezbollah and Syria and Russia have completely changed the rules of the game in the region — despite the [Russian-Israeli] coordination. Hezbollah is signaling to Israel that it’s prepared for the next phase,” the source said.


During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah managed to hit only one Israeli aircraft — a Yasur helicopter that was hit by a ground-to-air missile. At the time the gap between the IAF and the operational capacity of Hezbollah prevented the latter from seriously threatening Israeli planes. But after the war Hezbollah launched an intensive process of absorbing advanced Iranian anti-aircraft weapons systems.

Over the past few years, the IAF has attacked several weapons convoys on their way from Syria to Lebanon, and also destroyed mobile anti-aircraft systems that were on their way to Hezbollah. The organization’s leader Hassan Nasrallah openly referred to the attacks, warning Israel it would pay a high price for them. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has warned in the past two years that Israel has “red lines” which would not be crossed, and that it would not permit the “leaking” of weapons from Syria to Lebanon.

Nevertheless, the IDF believes that Hezbollah has managed to smuggle anti-aircraft systems, some of them old, such as the Russian-made SA-5, which is capable of downing cargo and reconnaissance aircraft, but not warplanes. Still, the possibility of the presence of more advanced systems in the area is bound to limit the IAF freedom of movement over Lebanon.


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  1. The IDF should study military history and learn from the horrific mistakes LBJ made as he escalated the Vietnam War. Although correctly identifying Soviet anti-aircraft missile sites in North Vietnam, LBJ refused to target those installations to prevent the Soviets from upping the anty in the war. This error proved fatal for the many U.S. pilots shot down as a result; emboldening North Vietnam to hang on, and even expand the war in Cambodia and Laos along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

    Radar, AA missiles, armor, artillery, etc must be clearly identifdied as "red line" issues, and decisively dealt with now (but not how Obama deals with "red lines").

  2. If our military has not prepared for at least 20 worst case scenarios, including the one posed here, we need to replace our army chief of staff and even bobo who seems to enjoy mediocrity below him so his position as king of Israel is not threatened.

    Where is the courage to take our enemies out?
    We have tied our own hands due to issues that concern themselves more with enemies rights than Israeli survival.
    It is about time our politicians, rabbis, and military chart a course that will place our enemies on notice-
    accept real peace or your real goal of Israel's destruction will be met with your own. Yaalon is not the one to lead us into battle.

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