Published On: Thu, Apr 30th, 2015

Hizbullah airstrip revealed

Google Earth photos reveal an airstrip in the northern Bekaa Valley for Hizbullah UAVcles – unmanned aerial vehis.

Syrian-airstrip Hizbullah airstrip revealed / Google Earth photo by Jane’s

The airstrip consists of a single unpaved strip 670 m long and 20 m wide, the short length of the runway suggesting the facility is not intended for weapons smuggling, as it is too short for nearly all transport aircraft used by Syria or Iran. The plausible explanation is that the runway was built for Iranian-made UAVs, including the Ababil-3, employed over Syria by forces allied to the Syrian regime, and possibly the newer and larger Shahed-129.

Hizbullah sources have confirmed to IHS Jane’s that the organization is using UAVs to support operations against rebel forces in Syria, particularly over the mountainous region on Lebanon’s eastern border. Hizbullah has operated UAVs from Lebanese airspace since at least November 2004, when it dispatched one that it identified as a Mirsad-1 for a brief reconnaissance mission over northern Israel. It then attempted to fly at least three UAVs into Israel during the July-August 2006 war.

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