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Edited by Christian Lowe | Contact

Hezbollah's Biggest Missile Yet

Watching the news over the last few years, we've grown accustomed to seeing terrorists as a low-tech threat -- guys who hijack airplanes with pocket knives and make bombs out of leftover parts. And that threat has been plenty scary, on its own.

a491.jpgBut in recent days, we're starting to see what happens when Islamic extremists get their hands on the relatively sophisticated arsenal of a country like Iran. Talk about terror.

On Sunday, Hezbollah again struck Haifa -- a city untouched by the militia until a few days ago -- using its biggest and most powerful missile yet. It's one of 800 rockets Hezbollah has launched against Israel in the last five days.

The weapon "hit a busy railway maintenance building, destroying the roof, killing eight, wounding more than 20 and leaving congealing pools of blood on the platform," the Times reports. "Israel said [the missile] was a Syrian-produced model of a Iranian Fajr-3 model, [which Tehran claims can avoid radars and carry multiple warheads -- ed.]. [It] has a range of more than 30 miles and carries a warhead with about 100 pounds of high explosives, which includes antipersonnel shrapnel, a significant change from the smaller Katyushas that Hezbollah has mostly been using."

And there may be worse to come, Ha'Aretz warns.

The fighting between Israel and the Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, has still not reached its zenith. The Israel Defense Forces' operational plans against the Shi'ite organizations have not yet been carried out. The next two days are the most critical and a lot depends on whether Tehran decides to take a chance and authorize Hezbollah to launch long-range missiles with more powerful warheads. This is a capability Hezbollah still retains, despite the heavy blows it has suffered in the IDF air strikes.

UPDATE 10:44 PM: Kathryn Cramner has worked some of her Google Earth magic, and come up with a fascinating picture of how far Hezbollah can now reach.


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how has the world community responded to hezbollah?

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Posted by: wowpowerleveling at April 15, 2008 02:14 AM

Interesting point of view (Cynic). I guess Israel should just allow themselves to be kidnapped and killed whenever any mindless terrorist thinks it appropriate. They shouldn't fight back. After all God is on the side of the terrorists right? And as for the injured in Lebanon? Hiding among large populated areas to use them as shields; that can't be blamed on the terrorists either I guess. You're right. Israel should be condemed for trying to protect itself.

Posted by: Rick at July 28, 2006 01:27 AM

"The Israeli government has a duty to protect the Israeli people. It doesn't have the same duty to the Lebanese."

That's strange, I thought the Geneva Protocol said otherwise. I must have imagined the bit about not hitting civilians and taking all measures to ensure that civilian casualties were kept to a minimum.

It would certainly explain the 200+ dead Lebanese civilians. But I don't think it's going to help Israel at all.

Posted by: Cynic at July 20, 2006 02:42 PM


It's not the fault of the children. It is the fault of their parents. The Israeli government has a duty to protect the Israeli people. It doesn't have the same duty to the Lebanese.

It is sad. But the Israelis can only play the hand dealt them.

The "fault" of the Israelis? It's the fault of Hezbolla. They're the responsible party. The blame lies at their feet. Israel has responded the only way it could. It has a perfect, legal right to respond.

Posted by: Brian at July 19, 2006 10:05 AM


Isnt it funny - we were attacked on 9-11 and yet there were numb skulls who said we shouldnt go into Afghanistan! Even though Bin Laden had all these camps and military installation there. Many forget there were also morons on Dec 8th, 1941 who said we should leave Japan alone...even after we almost lost the entire pacific fleet!

No one likes war - ESPECIALLY the warrior. I've been there, i bear the scars. However, there comes a time when you say enough is enough. Israel has shown so much restraint considering they are rocketed CONTINUALLY and have been for years without provocation. The only excuse the satan worshipping arab extremist give is "ISRAEL DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXIST!".

So, all you frog sucking peace monkeys can go in the corner and pick your noses while the warriors go and do what they must and come back to a SAFE home again.

Posted by: James at July 19, 2006 08:37 AM

"When you allow your country to be run by a bunch of nut-jobs, you become responsible for your country's actions"

And that's the fault of the dead children??

In any case I don't believe the people of Israel could turn around and stop their government tomorrow. And if it's their fault, is it also the fault of the US which supports the current Israeli actions? Are you as happy to see terror attacks on US soil as you are in Haifa and bombing in Beiruit?

Posted by: cynic at July 19, 2006 01:39 AM

Jaye, that thanks for posting your comment twice.. maybe more, its really idiotic. Truley.
Antoine Hashem, for a journalist, your writting is really bad. I doubt that you are, and if so, a biased one at that.

Posted by: Mike at July 18, 2006 10:39 PM

Hi Tech, Low Tech, US and Israeli pilots are a bunch of Baby Killers! Who, when they are flying are tough guys but when they are shot down become Homos! Add to the list the Coward Hezbollah Missile and Rocket boys too.

Posted by: Jaye at July 18, 2006 04:47 PM

Antoine, I don't think I believe you. See, I am Superman, and I was watching Lebanon with my x-ray vision. I say you are making things up.

Posted by: Brian at July 18, 2006 04:22 PM

Well considering about 230 people total have been killed in Lebanon, you must have persoanlly seen all of them. Myself, I was too busy picking up teetch from both contries.

Posted by: Tooth Fairy at July 18, 2006 02:04 PM

I am Lebanese and I am a journalist

I don't support any political party but today I escaped death on many roads

I saw families with many children burned in their cars, around 30... they were running for their lives and israel bombed them. One hour before Israel asked them to evacuate and gave them 2 hours to leave the village.
I spoke with the doctors and they are sure that phosphate and gaz bombs have been used.. similar to what saddam husein used against its people in Irak..
A church has been destroyed with many people inside also... near marjaouin
For those who trade ideologies and ideas and think they know right from wrong and good guys from bad guys I ask them to be humble...surely they don't know what they are speaking about

Antoine Hashem
Lebanese journalist

Posted by: antoine hashem mansour at July 18, 2006 01:15 PM


Innocents in both countries? Hey, I feel bad for them. But that's what happens when you let your country get led about by a bunch of fanatics. There were innocent people in Germany back in WWII, as well. "Dear President Roosevelt, I am just a poor innocent German who couldn't stop the Nazis. Please don't blow up the Nazi death factory which kills millions of Jews, because my house is right next door, and I am an innocent, kind person."

When you allow your country to be run by a bunch of nut-jobs, you become responsible for your country's actions.

Posted by: Brian at July 18, 2006 08:30 AM

"The stupid are getting themselves killed off."

How do you figure that the innocent civilians of
Israel and the Lebanon are 'the stupid'?

Hezbollah want a war, the bigger the better, drawing in as much of the Muslim world as possible. Israeli hawks seem happy to oblige, whatever the consequences for their country.

And we'll just watch and applaud.

"Isrial is making precision strikes on non civilian targets that have a distinct purpose...terrorist launching the missles on the other hand would love to have there rockets to kill as many Isrialie civilians as possible"

Whatever their intentions, which are actually killing more innocent people?

Posted by: Cynic at July 18, 2006 01:49 AM

Leo Kearse,


Yes, yes it is. It definitely is F-15s vs sticks and stones.


Posted by: Brian at July 17, 2006 05:52 PM

MG, a word of advice that I will one day pass on to my son (if I ever have one):

If there's ever a kid on the playground who is much bigger and stronger than you, don't walk up to him and kick him in the balls just to see what will happen.

I can put it another way: Don't stick a penny in the light socket, or a fork in the toaster. Putting your balls in a bear trap and daring it to snap shut is also not a good idea. The guy who sticks his head in the lion's mouth sometimes has to go get lots of stitches.

This is not Israel's fault. This is Darwin's theory at work. Natural Selection is at work, everyone. The stupid are getting themselves killed off.

Oh, and I wouldn't keep asking them to "come in and fight". That whole "balls, bear-trap" thing.

Posted by: Brian at July 17, 2006 05:49 PM

Some people are pure idiots. MG claims that Isrial is the most cowardly military in the world, impling that because they didnt invade Lebanon, yet there actions to teach hezbalah that they cant be messed with is something I would say is just the opposite. I would be very suprised to see Russia or England take the same actions to protect there people and not give in to terrorist.

Now lets take a look how both sides are going about this.. First, Isrial is making precision strikes on non civilian targets that have a distinct purpose of trying to hurt hezbalah and punish the government directly. Now the terrorist launching the missles on the other hand would love to have there rockets to kill as many Isrialie civilians as possible.
All these ignorant comments can be easly argued against.

Posted by: Mike at July 17, 2006 02:22 PM

The destruction wreaked on Lebanon by Israel is far, far greater than the destruction suffered by Israel. Your article is disingenuous because it implies that Hezbollah have capabilities on a par with the IDF. They do not. This really is fireworks versus F-16s, stones versus tanks.

Posted by: Leo Kearse at July 17, 2006 11:35 AM

Who cares who started it?
What matters now is preventing more innocent people from being killed by both sides while they 'defend' themseves.

I don't have much faith in the UN but I can't see anyone else helping.

Posted by: Cynic at July 17, 2006 11:05 AM

the Israeli army is the most advanced but most coward army in the world. they launched attacks against civilians and cities, and even against rescue workers and hospitals.
why dont they dare to come and fight, instead of bombing our children from the skies?
there is a genocide,a holocaust done in lebanon by the israeli army, while the world watch.

Posted by: MG at July 17, 2006 10:04 AM

Follow-up, to attempt redemption following my hasty post a bit ago with information not included in Noah's post:

Globalsecurity's article on the Zelzal 2 mentions that Hezbollah consistently refused to confirm or deny its possession of Zelzal missiles. Israeli sources (like in the Ha'aretz quote above), however, have consistently maintained that such missiles have been moved into southern Lebanon, while even Hezbollah hints that it has the capability to hit all of Israel.

Posted by: Eric at July 17, 2006 09:37 AM

Tidbit in Today's Papers over at Slate:

"According to Israeli military sources quoted in Ha'aretz, use of the longer-range missiles would require approval from Tehran."

This refers to the (Iranian-made) missile Zelzal, with a range of maybe 60-80 miles. I had earlier been optimistic about Hezbollah's restraint, but apparently theirs may not matter much.

Posted by: Eric at July 17, 2006 08:52 AM

I personally doubt Hezbollah has any more longer-range missiles:

At this point, they are in a "Use em or lose em" situation: They know its only a matter of time before Israel rises to their bait completely and begins a new ground campaign in Lebanon.

If Hezbollah had any missiles which could hit farther south, they would be launching them now, both because they know they might not have them tomorrow, and its the surest way at this point to have Israel keep attacking, which is what the leadership of Hezbollah seems to actually wants: Hezbollah seem to be trying to provoke a greater middle east war, with Israel causing as many civilian casualties as possible and (?ideally also attacking Syria and/or Iran?).

Posted by: Nicholas Weaver at July 17, 2006 08:44 AM

I know, really. The zionist bi***s are the ones that have started this whole mess. How dare they. Of course the peaceluving moslem is not the culprit of this tension. How dare anybody suggest that the peaceful moslem has any intention other than peace? Why does the world community not restrain the zionist from oppressing the peaceful moslems that never did anything to hurt an israeli?

Oh what? the peaceful moslems launched rockets into areas that are densely populated with civilians? The peaceloving moslems kidnap people? And saw their heads off? No way. That's just some more true than the holocaust.

Posted by: David at July 17, 2006 08:42 AM

Civilised people care that's who.

IDF are murdering cowards and theives.

Palestinians have very little in defence but credit to them for resisting the brutal IDF for 50+ years.

You can't take what is not yours without a fight. I hope the Palestinians will one day be free from the wretched racist Israeli's who are a cancer in this world.

Shame on the world for standing by and watching this happen.

Posted by: Disgusted at July 17, 2006 07:23 AM

Whatever missiles they use, Hezbollah are not going to cause many casualties.

By far the large number of deaths is going to be among civilians in Lebanon. But who cares about them?

Posted by: Cynic at July 17, 2006 01:39 AM

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