September 11, 2023 | Flash Brief

Iran Building Airport in Lebanon Just Miles from Israeli Border

September 11, 2023 | Flash Brief

Iran Building Airport in Lebanon Just Miles from Israeli Border

Latest Developments

Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant announced on September 11 that Iran was building an airport in Lebanon a mere 12 miles from the Israeli border. Gallant disclosed the news during a speech at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism’s (ICT) annual conference at Reichman University in Herzliya, showing surveillance photographs of the airport, which he said was built for “terror purposes,” in Lebanon’s Qalaat Jabbour mountain region. 

“In the pictures, you can see the Iranian flag flying over the runways, from which the ayatollah regime plans to operate against the citizens of Israel,” Gallant said. “In other words, the land is Lebanese, the control is Iranian, and the target is Israel.” Gallant’s photograph also showed the flag of the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah flying near the Iranian flag.

Expert Analysis

“The regime in Iran and its terror handmaiden Hezbollah are begging for a war with Israel. Their precision-guided munition facilities in Lebanon are designed to produce weapons of destruction to precisely murder Israeli civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure. And now this terror airport will be used to enable Iranian transfers of even greater destructive technologies, weapons, and terrorist capabilities.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The existence of this Iranian airport in Lebanon is part of the weapons pipeline that Iran has nurtured for decades. It is a threat to regional stability. However, it must also be noted that Iran has utilized the international airport in Beirut for the same purposes for many years. The Lebanese state collapsed quite a long time ago. Iran and Hezbollah have hollowed it out.” Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

Intensifying Hezbollah Activity

In recent months, Iran’s chief beneficiary in Lebanon, Hezbollah — whose political wing also controls the Lebanese government — has engaged in increasingly audacious military actions against Israel. The incidents began in July 2022, with the IDF downing three unarmed Hezbollah drones over Israeli maritime waters. Four days later, the IDF downed another Hezbollah drone.

In March, armed Hezbollah operative crossed into Israel and planted a roadside bomb at Megiddo junction that injured an Arab Israeli driver. Israeli forces later located and killed the operative. In May, Hezbollah invited international media to observe military exercises by the group, in which it blew up Israeli flags and a barrier resembling the wall on Lebanon’s border with Israel.

In June, armed Hezbollah operatives set up two tents on Israeli territory. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened conflict if the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) attacked the tents. The tents remain and continue to be occupied by armed militants. In July, three Hezbollah operatives attempted to breach the security fence along the border. IDF soldiers thwarted the operatives using non-lethal stun grenades.

Hezbollah’s Multi-Faceted Approach to Destabilizing Israel’s Northern Border,” by Joe Truzman

Israel, Partners Foiled 27 Iranian Terror Plots in Last Year,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Sharpens Warning to Lebanon Over Hezbollah Provocations,” FDD Flash Brief

IDF Intelligence Warns of Growing Threat at Israel-Lebanon Border,” FDD Flash Brief


Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Lebanon