Hezbollah Utilizes Western Military Equipment Supplied To The Lebanese Army Along The Border Area With Israel

Hezbollah’s infiltration of the ranks of the Lebanese army, as well as its military use for its own benefit of the army’s infrastructure, the army’s activities, its soldiers, and officers, was recently mentioned in several publications and is well-known to us. Hezbollah uses Lebanese army communications antennae and radar, is present on Lebanese vehicles patrolling southern Lebanon, and “employs” soldiers and officers to collect information and influence operations. It is also likely influencing the Lebanese army and its soldiers’ activities toward IDF soldiers carrying out the border barrier construction.

At the same time, there is a risk that Western military equipment, weapons, and armaments will end up in the hands of Hezbollah to be used against Israel. The weaponry and ammunition were provided to the Lebanese army by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and other European countries. These include anti-tank missiles, man-portable air-defense systems, surveillance equipment, and various electronic systems.  They are quite likely to be aimed at Israel in the next conflict.

According to our assessment, some Western military equipment is already in the hands of Hezbollah, which regularly applies it along the Israeli border. Advanced monitoring and communications technologies, including surveillance devices and sophisticated day and night cameras, will likely reach Hezbollah operatives acting along the Israeli border. The Americans and the British provided this equipment to the Lebanese army to support the LAF – Joint Border Project, a Lebanese border defense and security project focusing on the border with Syria. According to our understanding, this effort was led by the US Department of Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

Picture by CBN.

The abolition of conscription in Lebanon in 2012, demographics that favor Shiites (at least 50% of the population), the difficult economic situation, and the erosion of military salaries driving Christians out of the army since they no longer see a military career as a prestigious and rewarding option, all these causes over time play into Hezbollah’s hands.

According to our assessment that many Shi’ite troops, officers in the Lebanese army, and several Shi’ite-dominated Lebanese army units will fight alongside Hezbollah. They will serve as Hezbollah proxies in the next conflict with Israel. They will do so, among other things, with weapons and know-how provided to the Lebanese army by Western countries led by the US.

It is clear to us that military equipment can reach the Lebanese army from other countries and not necessarily from the West. However, the Western countries that support the Lebanese army today should remember that any equipment and knowledge they transfer to it has the potential to be used by Hezbollah.

Based on the premise that some of the military equipment goes to Hezbollah’s use, we recommend that those Western countries, which supply the military equipment to the Lebanese army, ask themselves several questions:

What is the potential of the military threat that the Lebanese army is expected to face? Why should anti-tank missiles be transferred to the Lebanese army? Why should anti-aircraft missiles be transferred to him? Should the Lebanese army be provided with the most sophisticated means of observation and electronic equipment?

In conclusion, We recommend that any transfer of weapons to the Lebanese army be examined in terms of the proportionality of the threat in the Israeli context during routine and emergency situations. We monitor the current aid to the Lebanese army manifested in the transfer of vehicles, trucks, small arms (guns, etc.), related equipment (helmets, vests, etc.), or salary grants (as is currently done for six months). However, the transfer of unique and high-quality Western weapons and equipment, which has the potential to influence the level of the threat in the Israeli context, must be prevented.

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Picture of Tal Beeri

Tal Beeri

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