Watch: ‘Threatening Israel’, Hizballah releases rare video flaunting missiles
Hizballah released footage of what it says are anti-ship missiles of the kind it used 13 years ago against Israel before marking on Friday its self-declared "victory" in the 2006 war.
Israel has fought several conflicts against the Iran-backed Hizballah, the last in 2006.
On Thursday night, a series of videos on Hizballah-run media purported to show at least five anti-ship missiles stored inside metallic containers in an unknown location.
They say the clips are from the 2006 war with Israel, with one clip apparently showing men dressed in Hizballah uniform tracking an Israeli warship using a radar.
The logo of the group which is currently allied with the brutal Assad regime in Syria, could be seen printed on the warheads.
A Hizballah naval commander, identified as Haj Jalal, told Hizballah’s al-Manar TV on Thursday that the anti-ship missiles are of the same kind used in a 2006 attack on one of the Israeli navy’s top warships, the INS Hanit.
The warship was struck off the coast of Beirut in July 2006, killing four soldiers and causing extensive damage to the corvette.
Jalal said an anti-ship arsenal is significant to Hizballah because the "sea serves as an economic lung for the Zionist enemy."
He mentioned "offshore gas fields, some of which are still being explored."
"A threat at sea is a threat to Israel's national security," said Jalal, whose face was blurred during the interview, a common security measure by the Shiite group.
On Friday, Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah gave a televised speech as the movement marked the anniversary of what it called its military "victory" in Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon near the Israeli border.
He said that the 2006 war has helped Hizballah develop "a military system to defend our villages, towns and cities."
"If [Israel] enters southern Lebanon... you will see a live broadcast of the destruction of Israeli brigades," he warned.
The 2006 strike was the first direct strike on an Israeli warship in decades and Hizballah celebrated it as among its biggest victories of the 34-day war.
An investigation found that the missile hit because officials did not believe Hizballah had such sophisticated technology and so didn't turn on anti-missile systems.
It also purported to show a truck-mounted launcher firing two anti-ship missiles, that were filmed streaking through the night sky.
Shortly after, the video shows a distant blaze.
In the years since the 2006 war, the discovery of offshore gas fields in Israeli waters has prompted investment in new warships to protect non-moving gas platforms.
Since 2006, Israeli officials have repeatedly warned that the Shia group maintains an arsenal of several hundred long-range missiles that could be used to target Israel.
Hizballah, once hailed as a resistance group against Israel, has lost credibility with most of the Arab world after forming an alliance with the Assad regime in Syria to suppress the uprising that began in 2011.
Syria quickly descended to war as the regime used large-scale brutal oppression tactics on the peaceful protesters.