Israel claims to uncover Hezbollah precision-guided missile site
The Israeli army said Tuesday it had exposed a Hezbollah site dedicated to the manufacture of "precision-guided" missiles in Lebanon, just days after a cross-border flare-up between the arch-foes.
"The IDF is exposing a facility belonging to Hezbollah... designed to convert and manufacture precision-guided missiles," the Israeli army said in a statement.
It released what it said was an aerial photograph of the site in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, near the town of Nabi Chit.
The statement comes after the Iran-backed Shia movement said Sunday its fighters had fired anti-tank missiles into Israel, destroying a military vehicle and killing or wounding those inside.
Israel's army said it had responded with around 100 artillery shells after Hezbollah targeted a battalion headquarters and military ambulance, hitting both.
Israeli officials refuted claims of casualties.
Israel's army said last week that Iran was collaborating with Hezbollah to convert "stupid rockets into precision-guided missiles", through a plan to smuggle the required components into Lebanon.
The facility near Nabi Chit was established a few years ago by Hezbollah movement and its ally Tehran, the Israeli army said on Tuesday.
"Lately, various activities to facilitate the manufacture and conversion of precision-guided missiles at the facility have been identified," it added.
Such activities included "the establishment of a dedicated assembly line for precision weapons and the transfer of sensitive and dedicated equipment".
The facility hosted machines designed to manufacture the motors and warheads of missiles "with an accuracy of less than 10 meters", with Iran supplying special machines and instruction for manufacturing crews, the Israeli army said.
It further alleged that Hezbollah had "in fear of strikes, evacuated precious and unique equipment from the compound to civilian locations in Beirut".
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Monday said his organisation would respond to any further Israeli attacks with strikes "deep inside Israel" and not just along the border.
For his part, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting that he was determined to guarantee Israel's security.
Israel must "prevent Iran from supplying our enemies and its proxies, such as Hezbollah and others, with precision weapons that endanger us", he said.
Hezbollah, which has grown into Iran's most powerful regional proxy, wields huge influence in Lebanese politics and its military might is said to outstrip that of the state.
Comment: Israel uses its firepower, far and wide
Israel's military capabilities, which include cutting-edge technology and a fleet of the world's most advanced fighter jets, are vastly superior.
But reports that Hezbollah is acquiring precision-guided missiles with Iran's help have raised alarm across the border.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah sites in neighbouring Syria since the civil war began there in 2011.