Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hezbollah Weapon of Choice: Antitank Missiles

The Jerusalem Post has an article up covering the preferred weapon of choice by Hezbollah, and their strategy of deploying it:

Over the last two weeks, the tactic used by many of the Hezbollah teams has been to avoid close-range combat, where IDF soldiers' high level of training gives them the upper hand. Instead, the Hezbollah men have been moving to positions high above villages and continuing to fire missiles at the IDF forces. Large stores of missiles were prepared in the hills in advance, for this eventuality……………..

The term "antitank" is misleading; the missiles were originally designed to be used against tanks, but the IDF's Merkava tanks and upgraded armored fighting vehicles are capable of withstanding most missiles in Hizbullah's arsenal. But Hizbullah isn't using them only against tanks. The range of these missiles - up to three kilometers - and the force of their explosive charges make them ideal for attacking groups of soldiers and IDF positions from afar.

I can see how such a weapon would be effective, especially for a guerilla force that hides in the shadows and seeks to ambush. Also, such a weapon does not require a great deal of marksmanship. A force like Hezbollah certainly has lots of eager and radical volunteers, but many of those volunteers lack a great deal of military training or skill. A "just get it close" type weapon certainly would be of high value and could do some real damage. From a skill level Hezbollah is not in the same league as the IDF, but a weapon like this can close the gap some what:

Col. Ofek Buchris, a former Golani battalion commander and the officer now in charge of offensive operations on the northern front, said this week, "Hizbullah aren't as good soldiers as people have been saying, they don't have good combat skills. In shooting battles, we beat them every time. What they do have is good antitank capabilities……………………