Hezbollah Drone Strike Destroys Israeli Air Defence Radar From Iron Dome System

The Lebanese militia group Hezbollah has destroyed an air defence radar from an Israeli Air Force Iron Dome system in the disputed Golan Heights in a drone strike on June 2, scoring a direct hit and causing multiple casualties among nearby personnel. The two opposing sides have engaged in a near continuous series of skirmishes since October 2023, with Hezbollah having initiated hostilities to stretch Israeli forces during their operations against Palestinian militia groups across their southern border in the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah units have targeted Iron Dome systems on multiple occasions in the past, and in the final week of January employed two single use ‘kamikaze’ drones to neutralise one such system near the Israeli settlement of Kfar Blum. Preceding this Hezbollah units were reported on December 18 to have hit two Iron Dome surface to air missile batteries, which was thought to have been achieved with some kind of artillery. Neutralising Iron Dome systems can serve as a force multiplier for strikes on Israeli targets, as these systems are optimised for defence against short range low altitude projectiles such as drones and rocket artillery which are primary means used by Hezbollah to engage Israeli targets. Supplies of components and rockets for the Iron Dome system have become increasingly scarce as they are relied on to intercept attacks from both Gaza and Southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah remains the only military force known to have defeated Israel in a war, after emerging victorious in the summer of 2006. A month long Israeli invasion attempt was at the time intended to wipe out its forces, but fell far short of achieving its objectives. The militia group’s leader General Secretary Hassan Nasrallah warned on May 24 that there would be “new surprises” for Israeli forces, which was considered likely to refer to the deployment of new weapons systems. Hezbollah’s military equipment primarily originates from Iran and North Korea, with its leadership having trained extensively in the latter country while the former remains a leading sponsor and supplier of military aid. Israeli experts have described Hezbollah as “a defensive guerrilla force organised along North Korean lines,” highlighting that “all the underground facilities, including arms dumps, food stocks, dispensaries for the wounded” were installed “under the supervision of North Korean instructors.” One of the most notable surprises in its recent engagements with Israeli forces has been its deployment of a new class of anti-tank missile with similar capabilities to the American Javelin, which was speculated to be the new Iranian Almas missile system.

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