If Israeli troops move into southern Lebanon again, they will
apparently find, as they did last Summer, lots of late model Russian missiles aimed
at them. That's because Syria has placed an order for several thousand 9M133
Kornet and 9M131 Metis 2 anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM). Israel tried to
persuade the Russians to back off. But the money was too good for the Russians
to pass up. Iran is supplying the cash. Syria gets to keep some of the
missiles, and slips the rest across the border to Hizbollah. It's a
win-win-win-win-lose (Russia-Syria-Iran-Hizbollah-Israel) situation.
2006, Israeli troops found Hizbollah equipped with many modern Russian ATGMs.
Three post-Cold War Russian missile systems were found in large numbers. These
were the 9M111 Fagot, which has a 25 pound missile fired from a 24 pound launch
unit for up to 2,000 meters. Then there was the 9M133 Kornet, a replacement for
the 9M111. This is laser guided missile with a range of 5,000 meters. The
launcher has a thermal sight for use at night or in fog. The missile's warhead
can penetrate 1200mm of armor, which meant that the front and side armor of the
Israeli Merkava tank was vulnerable. The missile weighs 18 pounds and the
launcher 42 pounds. Then there was the 9M131 Metis 2, which is a 30 pound
missile, with a 1,500 meter range. It is fired from a 35 pound control unit,
that has a thermal sight.
and launch units were found in bombed out buildings last Summer. The 9M131 can
be fired from inside buildings. The missiles were used to take long range shots
at Israeli infantry, and tanks. Russia had been selling these new missile
systems to Syria and Iran for several years, and this was the first real combat
test of these systems. A few Israeli tanks were hit, but most of the missiles
have been fired at Israeli infantry, causing over a hundred casualties.