Terrorist group Hezbollah is using the conflict in Syria to prepare for a war with Israel, reveals a report published by the UK-based research group BICOM. In 2015, Iran funnelled a billion dollars to the Lebanon-based terrorist group. According to a strategic analysis released by Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre (BICOM) on Monday, Iran-backed Hezbollah’s missile stockpile is now estimated to be around 100,000-150,000, with large portion of it hidden among Lebanon’s civilian population.

Hezbollah entered the Syrian civil war 5 years ago to fight on behalf of Iran-backed dictator Bashar Al Assad. Since then 5,000 of its 20,000-strong fighting force is pinned down in Syria. The terrorist militia now controls territory within Syria, creating a base for Iran — a fallback option in case Assad regime were to collapse.

The Obama-Kerry Nuclear Deal gave Iran a signing bonus of  $150 billion. Flushed with fresh cash, regime in Tehran is making up for the past cuts it had to make in funding its proxy terrorist group across the Middle East including Hezbollah.

Shia Islamist group Hezbollah was trained and equipped by Iran in mid-1980s to wage war against Israel. Unable to confront Israel head-on militarily, the terrorist group has carried out an asymmetric war using suicide attacks against the Israeli civilians and military targets. The BICOM report says:

[O]ver 5,000 Hezbollah combatants are currently operating in Syria which comprises a quarter of the group’s entire regular fighting forces. These troops provide an essential reinforcement of the regime’s allied Iraqi/Shia forces, as well as giving training to regime forces (…) Hezbollah is believed to have lost between 1,300 – 1,500 members in the civil war and suffered over 5,000 injuries. (…)

Iran provides extensive military equipment and financial support to Hezbollah through a web of channels such as Iranian Revolutionary Guards Banks. At its peak, Hezbollah received an annual sum of approximately a billion dollars which was reduced in the years leading up to the July 2015 nuclear deal that provided sanctions relief to Iran.

While the Syrian civil war restrains Hezbollah’s policy vis-à-vis Israel, the organisation – together with Iran – continues to try and establish military infrastructure on the Golan and to improve its already significant rocket arsenal, a strategy that the current Syrian ceasefire is unlikely to alter.

The stockpile of missiles amassed by Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon has creating a direct security threat to Israel. Judging the current operational capabilities, Hezbollah could launch up to 1200 missile per day in case of a conflict with Israel. Terrorist group’s military build-up includes sophisticated missiles such as Iranian-made FATEH as well as Russian-made Yakhont and Scuds.

Hezbollah has declared its intentions to hit civilian and non-military targets within Israel. Israel’s ports, commercial centres, industrial and energy installations are within the rage of Hezbollah missiles.

However, Hezbollah’s terrorist threat is not limited to Israel alone. The Lebanese group regularly carries out international terrorism on behalf of the Iranian regime and has now created footholds in Europe. Hezbollah’s operates openly in Europe under the guise of its ‘political wing.’

Hezbollah’s growing military build-up should not be a matter of great concern to Israel alone but to Europe and the wider Western world as well, that is becoming increasingly vulnerable in the wake of the Migrant Crisis.

VIDEO: UN Watch‘s Hillel Neuer​ on the role of the Hezbollah terrorist organization in the Lebanese government (March 2016)

[Cover image courtesy Channel 4, YouTube screenshot]