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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hezbullah leader said to be hiding in Iranian Embassy

Israel hasn't tried to kill Hezbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah since the massive bombardment of South Beirut ten days ago. If this Washington Times article from Friday is right, we now know why. He's hiding in the Iranian embassy in Beirut. Yes, the same embassy where kidnapped IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are being held.

Hat Tip (for the Times article): Little Green Footballs

Intelligence reports indicate the leader of Hezbollah is hiding in a foreign mission in Beirut, possibly the Iranian Embassy, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

Israeli military and intelligence forces are continuing to hunt for Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's secretary-general, who fled his headquarters in Beirut shortly before Israeli jets bombed the building last week.

"We think he is in an embassy," said one U.S. official with access to the intelligence reports, while Israeli intelligence speculates Sheik Nasrallah is hiding in the Iranian Embassy.

If confirmed, the reports could lead to an Israeli air strike on the embassy, possibly leading to a widening of the conflict, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Foreign embassies are sovereign territory and an attack on an embassy could be considered an act of war.


U.S. officials confirmed the existence of intelligence reports about Sheik Nasrallah hiding in a Beirut embassy after Israel's Ma'ariv newspaper reported Wednesday that the Hezbollah leader was thought to be in the Iranian Embassy. The newspaper, quoting intelligence officials, said Sheik Nasrallah has set up an operations center in an embassy basement that is coordinating Hezbollah attacks.

However, the U.S. officials said the intelligence reports have not confirmed Sheik Nasrallah's precise location.

Iran's embassy in Beirut is located in the Shi'ite stronghold known as the Bir Hasan section, in the western part of the city.

The embassy also is a major base for Iranian intelligence and is used by large numbers of Ministry of Intelligence and Security agents, as well as by senior members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran's shock troops that are linked to international terrorist activities.


A Middle East diplomat confirmed that Israel is seeking out Sheik Nasrallah and that the Iranian Embassy appears mostly evacuated. However, the diplomat stated: "Wherever he is, he is a legitimate target," similar to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. "He's responsible for organizing attacks and killing Israelis," the diplomat said.

In Tehran, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman denied that the embassy in Beirut was sheltering Sheik Nasrallah and dismissed reports of his presence there as Israeli government "disinformation."
Nasrallah using Goldwasser and Regev as human shields to prevent an Israeli airstrike sounds all-too-plausible to me.


At 5:46 AM, Blogger BHCh said...

The bastard has had it. He may last even a year or two, but he's had it.


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