A video has been circulating in recent days within Lebanese and Arab social media circles, particularly in the wake of the massive explosion at the Port of Beirut earlier this month.
There is persisting speculation in Lebanon that Israel may have ultimately been behind the port explosion, regardless of the utter negligence or even possible complicity of certain Lebanese officials.
The video in question depicts the “IDF International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus” addressing the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington D.C. on the 1st of March, 2020. Conricus accuses Hezbollah of manufacturing precision-guided missiles (PGMs) at several facilities within populated areas of Beirut.
The Israeli army spokesperson goes on to display a graph pinpointing several locations where these facilities allegedly exist, some locations of which lie in the vicinity of Beirut’s International Airport, located only a few kilometres from the Port of Beirut.
Conricus finally warns that “if terrorist Hezbollah is allowed to obtain these sophisticated and lethal weapons…we will have no choice but to respond. And we will respond fiercely”.
Source: Israel Defense Forces (YouTube)
Date: 6 March, 2020
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IDF International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus:
And that is not all. As we’re speaking, Hezbollah is acquiring game-changing weapons, which only select western militaries possess, aiming to be the first terror organization in the world to hold such capabilities. Since 2013, Hezbollah, acting as Iran’s proxy, has dedicated its efforts to get their hands-on Precision Guided Missiles, or P-G-M capabilities.
A precision guided missile is essentially a “smart” rocket. Whereas traditional, unguided rockets are typically fired in large numbers in the general direction of a target zone – with many doing limited damage as a result- PGMs are highly accurate and are able to strike within a few dozen yards of a specific location.
Hezbollah has already identified and declared which targets they intend to strike in Israel. They include the port of Ashdod, the ammonium tank in the port of Haifa, the Knesset in Jerusalem, The Azrielli towers in Tel Aviv – and the runway of the Ben-Gurion Airport.
Now there’s also good news. PGMs are expensive, hard to produce and sophisticated. While Hezbollah possesses a massive arsenal of regular rockets, estimated at 130,000, it has yet to achieve the capability to mass-produce PGMs. But they are close.
For five years, Israel chose to work through the diplomatic and political channels. Then in September 2018, Israel exposed three PGM manufacturing facilities in the heart of the Lebanese capital of Beirut. All within a mile of the Rafic Hariri International Airport. Each of these facilities was embedded in dense civilian areas and all three of them putting the population of the city of Beirut in harms way. It is now the task of the IDF to bring Hezbollah’s PGM program to the attention of the world.
A few months ago, we exposed another Hezbollah missile factory. This one, North of the village of Nabi Chit, just east of the Beqaa valley. What this newly released aerial footage reveals is what used to be a top- secret Hezbollah PGM manufacturing site.
Almost immediately after we exposed it, Hezbollah started evacuating the site, probably in fear of an imminent attack. They are right to fear that. Because they know we won’t allow them to mass-produce missiles on Lebanese soil. And we know of other PGM manufacturing facilities hidden amongst innocent civilians. And I’ll tell you, we the IDF we will deal with these sites in due time.
Hezbollah looks for ways to kill, We look for ways to protect life. We have never sought war, We do not want war. But if terrorist Hezbollah is allowed to obtain these sophisticated and lethal weapons, and fire them at Israel, using innocent Lebanese civilians as their human shields, we will have no choice but to respond. And we will respond fiercely.
We rely on our soldiers, our sons and daughters, to dutifully guard our borders. And thanks to your efforts, we know we can continue to rely on the friendship and the support of the United States of America.
And for that and much more, I salute you.