“Syria possesses Russian-made Yachont missiles, and there is the feeling that they have also made their way into the hands of Hezbollah,” a senior Israel Navy officer told The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister publication Ma’ariv.
“In any event, our working assumption is that [the Lebanese Shi’ite organization] will launch those missiles from Syria,” the officer said.
The naval commander listed a number of maritime threats with which Israel must contend, ranging from Hezbollah and Syria in the north to ISIS and Hamas in the south.
When asked if ISIS or any other rejectionist group poses a threat to Israel, the official said: “We are taking into account that anyone holding a weapon will use it at some point.”
The official said that the defense establishment believes the Yachont poses the greatest threat to Israel’s ships and submarines, adding that the supersonic cruise missiles are being housed in facilities controlled by the Assad regime.
According to foreign reports, Israel has thwarted several attempts by the Assad regime to transfer weapons to Hezbollah, considering it a red line that cannot be crossed.
The senior official added that the missiles pose the greatest threat to strategic assets controlled by Israel and is deeply concerned that it could elude the newly developed Barak 8 missile defense system.
“Hezbollah has in its possession a broad spectrum of missiles” in its arsenal, the official stressed. “Any ship that leaves our docks is now at threat.”
Not a week goes by in which the Navy does not practice against such attack scenarios, the official said, adding that the Navy also conducts training exercises that protects Israel from possible infiltration , attacks on its ports and underwater vessel hijackings.