Issues

To Target Israel, Iran’s ‘Suitcase’ GPS Kits Turn Hezbollah Rockets Into Guided Missiles

The Warsaw Conference on Middle East Peace and Security last week didn’t seem to deliver much in the way of peace or security for the assorted countries attending. There was, to be sure, a lot of tough talk against Iran and the projection of a united front as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several senior Arab officials all gathered in one room. Yet far away from the bright lights of the Trump-engineered summit, on the business end of the battle against Iran, Israeli security officials have a singular preoccupation: suitcases.

In interviews with The Daily Beast, senior Israeli military officers outlined new details about Iran’s plans to turn a vast arsenal of relatively dumb rockets in Syria and Lebanon into a deadly array of precision-guided missiles. The key, according to Israel, is a Global Positioning System (GPS) “kit” the size of small roll-aboard luggage.

The Israel-Iran shadow war in (and above) Syria and the surrounding countries has evolved over the last two years. By early 2017, and despite the ongoing civil war, the survival of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was relatively assured due to the intervention of Russia, Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah and various other Iranian-backed militias. With its ally looking more secure, Iran embarked on a grandiose plan for increasing its influence in the shattered country.

As Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, the recently retired Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff, told The New York Times last month, “Their vision was to… build a force of up to 100,000 Shiite fighters from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. They built intelligence bases and an air force base within each Syrian air base. And they brought civilians in order to indoctrinate them.” Eventually Iran tried to introduce anti-aircraft systems, rockets and missiles, and a drone program.

Iranian attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah via Syria were ongoing and also deemed a “red-line” by Israel.

Read More: The Daily Beast