Two drones neutralized an Israeli Iron Dome anti-aircraft warfare

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Recent reports suggest that the Lebanese militant group and political faction Hezbollah is once again launching attacks against Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system located near the Lebanese-Israeli frontier. On January 25, The Military Watch Magazine [MWM] unveiled the use of a pair of single-use ‘kamikaze’ drones, employed to destroy an Iron Dome system located near Kfar Blum, an Israeli settlement. 

Photo credit: IDF

There hasn’t been any confirmation regarding the exact class of drone used in these attacks. However, we do know that Iran—a major supplier of armaments to Hezbollah—is globally renowned for its production of indispensable ‘kamikaze’ drone classes, including the extensively battle-tested Shahed 136 and the jet-powered Shahed 238 specifically engineered for operations aimed at suppressing air defense. 

Photo credit: Twitter

Through a public declaration, Hezbollah stated that this strike was executed “in solidarity with our unwavering Palestinian allies in the Gaza Strip.” Reports from December 18 previously indicated that Hezbollah successfully targeted two Iron Dome surface-to-air missile batteries, an achievement believed to be accomplished using some form of artillery. 

Stretching Israeli forces

The Iron Dome batteries are under assault, achieving two objectives—further straining the Israeli forces already grappling with their incursion into the Palestinian Gaza Strip and highlighting the vulnerability of even Israel’s most secure positions to restricted attacks as a means to deter potential escalations. 

A simmering conflict has been brewing between Israeli and Hezbollah forces for over three months. Israel escalated recently, carrying out strikes on Hezbollah-supporting population centers in southern Lebanon using white phosphorus munitions. A Hezbollah field commander also lost his life in a targeted strike on January 8. 

Photo credit: Nehemia Gershuni

In response, Hezbollah struck back on December 6, barraging a crucial Israeli air surveillance facility on Mount Meron with rocket artillery. Additionally, on December 26, they made their first-known deployment of a novel class of anti-tank missile, originating from an unknown source. 

Hezbollah’s lack of air power 

Analysts speculate that the missile might mimic the American Javelin’s capabilities, which were recently used in Ukraine, suggesting it to be the novel Almas system from Iran. Following the latest attack on the Iron Dome system on January 26, individual Hezbollah units reportedly launched counterattacks on multiple Israeli Defense Force positions located along the border, although the details have yet to be confirmed. 

Primarily due to its lack of dominant air power, Hezbollah tends to rely heavily on an extensive network of hidden tunnels and protective bunkers. These secluded areas are spacious enough to house substantial assets like ballistic missile vehicles and rocket artillery assets, referred to as transporter erector launchers. 

This subterranean network was meticulously established in the early 2000s with guidance from North Korea. It enabled the militia to deal a significant military blow to the Israeli forces during a conflict lasting a month in 2006. At that time, Hezbollah was considerably less equipped and trained than it is today.

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