Hizbullah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah said his Iranian-sponsored militia has deployed more than 20,000 rockets in southern Lebanon.
Nasrallah, in his first appearance since the 34-day war with Israel ended on August 14, prodid not identify the rockets, proclaimed on Friday that “”We celebrate a great divine, historic and strategic victory,” Nasrallah said during his “victory rally” on September 22. Nasrallah’s assertion marked the highest number of rockets claimed by Hizbullah. In July, the Hizbullah chief said his organization had more than 12,000 rockets, a figure that had been confirmed by Israeli intelligence.
During the war, Israel assessed that it destroyed at least one-third of Hizbullah’s rocket arsenal, comprised mostly of 122 mm Katyusha short-range rockets. Israeli intelligence asserted that Hizbullah’s entire medium- and long-range rocket arsenal was destroyed.
However, Nasrallah said that Hizbullah has retained its rocket arsenal in Southern Lebanon. He said some of those weapons were located along the northern Israeli border with Lebanon.
“He says they have 20,000 rockets; we should believe him,” Israeli cabinet Minister and former Defence minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said on Monday. “We should prepare the army.”