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Sunday, August 20, 2006

DEBKAfile: Turkey forces one Syrian, 6 Iranian arms planes to land at Diyarbakir military base

DEBKAfile is reporting that Turkey forced six Iranian ILDT type 4-cargo planes and a Syrian aircraft to land at the Diyarbakir military airport in southeastern Turkey last Thursday after US spy satellites spotted they were loaded with missiles, missile launchers and eight boxes of Chinese made C-802 missiles, dubbed by Iran “Nur.”

The C-802 was the missile used by Hezbullah together with Iranian Revolutionary Guards working at a Lebanese army radar station to hit an Israeli Sa'ar 5 class missile corvette that was enforcing the Naval blockade of Beirut on July 14, two days after the war started. Three Israeli sailors were killed in that incident, but the ship made it to Ashdod on its own power and was repaired.

The Turkish authorities searched the planes and discovered that one of the planes was carrying crates of Fajer rockets, which Hizballah fired at Israeli towns. Two of the Iranian cargo planes have not been permitted to take off from Turkey unless they fly back to Iran. DEBKA does not say what those two planes were carrying, although it sounds like those are the planes that were carrying the missiles.

Four planes, carrying light ammunition including anti-tank weapons, were allowed to complete their journey to Syria after their pilots presented documents proving they were purchased in Iran for the Syrian army.

DEBKAfile adds: This is the first time American military satellites have been openly revealed to have aided in the UN embargo against arms transfers from Syria and Iran to the Hizballah.

DEBKAfile’s military sources also disclose that the Iranian and Syrian cargo flights were bound for three Syrian military airfields, two of which were transferred at the end of July to the control and supervision of the air wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. The flight carrying the C-802 missile was destined for the military section of Damascus’ Mezze international airport. The launchers and Fajer rockets would have been unloaded at Syria’s Nasiriya air base, 40 km from the Lebanese border. The anti-tank rockets and ammunition were bound for al Qusayr, north of Damascus and only 25 km from Lebanon’s northern Beqaa Valley.

It remains to be seen whether and how Israel stops the almost inevitable attempt to transfer the anti-tank weapons to Hezbullah.


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