Footage filmed inside the Jnah site during Hezbollah’s media tour shows tools and equipment needed to produce precision missiles
Three Hezbollah missle manufacturing sites in Beirut are highlighted alongside the site of the Beirut Port explosion. / (photo credit: IDF)
Days after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Hezbollah is storing precision missiles at three sites in a residential neighborhood in Beirut, additional details about the group’s activity at the sites, including the operative running the sites, have been revealed.
On Wednesday the IDF provided details maps and GPS coordinates of the sites which were in the Jnah neighborhood, Laylaki, and Chouaifet neighborhoods under residential apartment buildings and near a mosque, medical center, and gas stations.
One of the sites, in the Jnah neighborhood near the Iranian embassy, was first reported by The Jerusalem Post in July based on a report by the ALMA Research and Education Center. According to the report, “based on our insight into Hezbollah’s action and patterns, these sites are available for immediate operational use.”
Following Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, Hezbollah organized a media tour of the site that they claim is a civilian iron workshop. Footage filmed by several media outlets showed crowds of people as well as machines and other tools that are used to manufacture precision missiles.
The machines include a laser cutting machine, hydraulic cutting machine, and manual cutting machine-all used to cut metals at angles required to produce missiles and stabilize them as well as engines and missile warheads.
Other tools seen in the footage was a bending machine which processes the metals that make up the engine shell, warhead, and rocket’s navigation sections as well as a rolling machine which is used to process metals into a roll which can then be used in engine components, warheads, and rocket navigation.
The site is said to be run by an active Hezbollah member Muhammed Kamel Fad Ramal, who was interviewed at the site on Wednesday and denied being a member of the terror group. According to the Israeli military, in addition to being the site manager, he works closely with Iranian forces on the production aspect of the precision missile project and has flown to Iran several times with other operatives from the group.
Similar to the site in Laylaki, the site in the Chouaifet neighborhood is underground below 5 residential buildings. In footage shared by the IDF on Friday, a suspicious commercial vehicle arrived at the site and left it several hours later and heading to another underground site located under a residential apartment building in the Bourj el-Barajneh neighborhood which the military says is also used by Hezbollah.
Two years ago during a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York, Netanyahu said that Hezbollah had missile storage facilities in residential areas in the Lebanese capital, including near the city’s airport which lies just south of the Bourj el-Barajneh neighborhood.
The group is estimated to have an arsenal of between 130,000-150,000 rockets and missiles of all sorts of ranges and payloads. And while it is mostly comprised of small, man-portable, and unguided surface-to-surface rockets and missiles with ranges of between 10km-500km, the group is continuing to work on its precision missile project.
Hezbollah’s project to build accurate and precise missiles, which is done using Iranian know-how, funding, and guidance, has been targeted by Israel on numerous occasions in Syria, and according to foreign reports in Iraq and Lebanon as well, as part of its war-between-wars campaign.
Israel has reiterated several times that the transfer of any advanced weaponry to Hezbollah is a red line for the Jewish State and that it will work to prevent any such movement. As such, despite the effort and years invested, the organization is reported to have only several dozen precision missiles.