By Soroor Ahmed (NVONews.Com)
Though Israel is not saying much, except claiming that on Oct 6 it had shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over Negev desert Iran on Sunday claimed that the launch of a drone aircraft into Israel by Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was a sign of Tehran’s military capabilities and at the same time exposed the Zionist state’s weakness.
As reported earlier Hezbollah had claimed responsibility on Thursday for the launch of the drone aircraft which Israel shot down when it almost reached the Dimona nuclear plant without being detected by the advanced Israeli and US radars.
The incursion has definitely exposed the weakness of Israeli air defence, indicating that its Iron Dome anti-missile defence system does not work and lacks the necessary capacity. The Iron Dome system, jointly funded with Washington, is designed to bring down short-range guerrilla rockets.
The intrusion by drone has seriously alarmed the Israelis as more and more people have started fearing Iran. For the first time the invincibility of the country has been so brazenly challenged. A survey done before the drone incursion said that more than half of Israel’s population feel that the very existence of the Zionist state is in danger if war really takes place with Iran.
As the rhetoric and battle cry raised by both Israel and iran have more to do with psychology than anything else, the drone development has come as a big blow to the former. How can a state with such a high-level of battle alertness not detect an UAV till it reached so deep into the territory? This is a million dollars question doing the round.
True such UAVs have penetrated into Israel in the recent past too, but they have always entered from north, that is, Lebanese side, while this one was reportedly sent from either West Bank or Mediterranean. Whether it was sent to collect intelligence information or crash somewhere in Israel remains unclear.
Even the Arab states have during the high time of wars with Israel never been able to penetrate into the country’s air defence shield so easily.
What is even more shocking is that it is not any powerful country, but a Shia group, Hezbollah, which got the Iranian-made drone assembled before it was sent into Israel, which had fought 34 days of bloody war with it in 2006. The war ended with hardly any success for Israel as it lost 160 soldiers. Its aircraft, however, almost carpet-bombed Lebanon killing about 1,200, mostly civilians.
The Iranian muscle-flexing has for the first time alarmed the United States too as it goes to poll next month.
Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi told state television on Sunday that “Iran has great capabilities and our capabilities are at the service of the Islamic nation.”
He said Iran believed Hezbollah had the right to launch the drone into Israeli airspace since Israel’s warplanes “repeatedly violate Lebanese airspace”.
On the other hand Commander of Iran’s Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili broke the news on Sunday saying the new drone, named Hazem, is a long range aircraft which can be used in air defense operations.
Esmaili noted that the drone will be used in targeting and identification operations, and for carrying cargo whenever needed.
However, the Islamic Republic has repeatedly assured other nations that its military might poses no threat to them. It insisted that its defence doctrine is entirely based on deterrence.