Media reports suggest that Hezbollah, also known as the “Party of God,” stands as a Lebanese political party and militant group with strong affiliations to Iran and Syria’s Assad regime. Often labeled as an Iranian proxy, Hezbollah aligns itself with Tehran’s regional ambitions, receiving military, financial, and political support in return.
Regarded as the world’s most heavily armed non-state actor, Hezbollah is often characterized as “a militia trained like an army and equipped like a state.” Nowhere is this more evident than in its formidable missile and rocket forces, strategically positioned against Israel.
Hezbollah’s arsenal primarily consists of small, man-portable, and unguided surface-to-surface artillery rockets. While lacking precision, the sheer volume of these weapons renders them potent tools of terror. Israeli sources reported approximately 15,000 rockets and missiles in Hezbollah’s possession on the eve of the 2006 Lebanon War, during which nearly 4,000 were launched at Israel throughout the 34-day conflict. Since then, Hezbollah has significantly expanded its rocket arsenal, with current estimates surpassing 130,000.
As tensions in the region persist, understanding the capabilities of Syria’s missile arsenal becomes crucial.
Top Missiles in Syria’s Inventory
Scud Missile Series:
The Scud missile series is a prominent component of Syria’s missile capabilities, comprising variants such as the Scud-B and Scud-C. These ballistic missiles have a range exceeding 300 kilometers, providing Syria with the ability to target distant locations. While lacking precision guidance, Scud missiles are known for their significant payload capacity, making them a strategic concern. The Scud series has been a focal point in regional security discussions, given its potential to carry conventional or unconventional warheads.
Yakhont Anti-Ship Missile:
The Yakhont stands out as a formidable supersonic anti-ship cruise missile in Syria’s arsenal. With its high speed and advanced guidance systems, the Yakhont poses a credible threat to naval assets in the Mediterranean. Its ability to execute sea-skimming maneuvers makes it challenging for traditional naval defenses to intercept. The Yakhont enhances Syria’s maritime capabilities and raises concerns about the security of naval operations in the region.
The Tishreen missile represents an advanced surface-to-surface missile system in Syria’s inventory. While specific details about its capabilities may be classified, it is believed to be a medium-range ballistic missile with advanced guidance systems. The Tishreen missile’s potential precision and range contribute to Syria’s strategic posture, providing the nation with a versatile tool to address regional security challenges.
The M600 is a ballistic missile that has garnered attention for its range and potential as a precision-strike weapon. With a reported range exceeding 300 kilometers, the M600 is capable of reaching targets across borders. What adds to the geopolitical complexity is its reported ability to carry various warheads, including chemical payloads. The M600’s capabilities raise concerns about the potential use of chemical weapons and add a layer of urgency to regional security dynamics.
Understanding the capabilities of these missiles in Syria’s arsenal provides insight into the nation’s military strategy and potential threats in the region. The combination of ballistic missiles, anti-ship missiles, and precision-strike capabilities underscores the multifaceted challenges faced by neighboring states and the broader international community in maintaining stability and security in the Middle East.