October 24, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Strikes Hezbollah Cells in Lebanon

October 24, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Strikes Hezbollah Cells in Lebanon

Latest Developments

Israeli aircraft struck a pair of Hezbollah cells in Lebanon on October 23, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said. According to the IDF, Hezbollah fighters had been preparing to launch anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and rockets toward Israel. One cell was located near the Israeli town of Mattat, the IDF said, while the other was in a disputed strip of land to the northeast, known as Har Dov in Israel and as Shebaa Farms in Lebanon.

Expert Analysis

“Iran and Syria have provided advanced weapons systems such as ATGMs, rockets, mortars, and Explosively Formed Penetrators to a variety of Shia militias in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Hezbollah and other terror groups have used these weapons with deadly effect against Israel, the United States, and a host of countries in the Middle East.” — Bill Roggio, FDD Senior Fellow

“Hezbollah has employed its guided missiles as the leading form of assault against Israeli targets since the war began. Despite the potency of this method, it has also posed a significant risk to the guided missile teams, subjecting them to Israeli drone attacks that have resulted in the loss of approximately 35 members of Hezbollah.” —Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Hezbollah’s ATGM Arsenal

Hezbollah possesses an assortment of ATGMs and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), chiefly of Russian origin and supplied by Syria or Iran. The group’s most advanced Russian-made ATGM is the Kornet, which NATO calls the AT-14 Spriggan. Developed in the 1990s, the Kornet is a SACLOS (semi-automatic command to line of sight) laser-guided missile. Its basic version has a maximum range of around five kilometers. Hezbollah acquired the Kornet prior to the 2006 Second Lebanon War, likely from Syria.

Hezbollah has also received Iranian-made ATGMs reverse-engineered from Russian and Western systems, likely including a Kornet knockoff called the Dehlaviyeh. In August 2023, the group unveiled the Tharollah, designed to launch two Kornet missiles in quick succession. The Tharollah resembles a similar Iranian-designed dual-launcher system for the Dehlaviyeh. Likewise, Hezbollah has previously used Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wireless-Guided (TOW) ATGMs provided by Iran. Before the 1979 revolution, Tehran received U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW ATGMs, which it reverse-engineered to make the Toophan, subsequently supplied to Hezbollah. The terror group has also reportedly used European-made Milan ATGMs.

Hezbollah’s Use of ATGMs Against Israel

During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hezbollah anti-tank units skillfully employed ATGMs and RPGs in “swarm” ambushes against Israeli armor and positions. These weapons accounted for most of the casualties suffered by Israeli ground forces. The IDF struggled to locate well-concealed Hezbollah ATGM positions firing from range.

Since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, Hezbollah has conducted numerous ATGM attacks against Israeli troops and positions near the Israel-Lebanon border. One attack, carried out on October 20, killed an Israeli-American dual citizen. Israel has responded with airstrikes targeting Hezbollah. The Israeli government has ordered civilians to evacuate towns near the Israel-Lebanon border in anticipation of further Hezbollah escalation.

Northern Communities as Danger of Hezbollah Escalation Grows,” FDD Flash Brief

Iran-backed Shia militias target 2 U.S. bases in Iraq,” by Joe Truzman and Bill Roggio

Iran-Backed Militias Attack U.S. Forces in Iraq,” FDD Flash Brief


Hezbollah Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Israel at War Jihadism Lebanon