Report: Hezbollah moving scud missiles from Syria into Lebanon
The Shiite militia group is taking its weapons out of its ally’s once secure country
Hezbollah has been transferring its long range missiles out of Syria and into Lebanon, including missiles which could reach the heart of Israel, the New York Times reported on Frdiay.
Israeli national security analyst Ronen Bergman, who has close contact with Israeli intelligence officials, told the Times that most of the long-range surface to surface missiles given to the Lebanese political group by its allies Iran and Syria have been transferred to Lebanon despite Israel’s attempts to halt the process.
American intelligence analysts also corroborated the reports, claiming that the Shiite militia group was smuggling components of Russian-made anti-ship missiles out of Syria in an attempt to avoid an Israeli air campaign, a U.S. official said.
Israel attacked Syria at least five times in 2013 in its attempts to destroy Hezbollah’s weaponry.
In one of these strikes, Israel targeted advanced Yakhont antiship cruise missiles. However, American analysts later found that the strikes did not destroy all of the missiles systems.
Bergman said that while Syria was once a safe hiding spot for Hezbollah’s arsenal of weapons, the nearly three year conflict threatening its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, also jeopardizes the security of the weapons.
The missiles being moved, he said, include Scud D’s, shorter-range Scud C’s, medium-range Fateh rockets that were made in Iran, Fajr rockets and antiaircraft weapons that are fired from the shoulder.
According to an American official, there could be upwards of 12 Russian-made anti-ship cruise missiles in Hezbollah’s possession inside Syria. The official stated that while the organization had successfully smuggled at least some of the parts of the weapons into Lebanon this past year amid the chaos of the Syrian conflict, not all required parts had been transferred.
Israeli security analyst Bergman said the weapons were being moved in tractor trailers with special coolers.
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