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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Syria still transferring weapons to Hezbullah

HaAretz is reporting that Syria is still transferring weapons to Hezbullah as the war is apparently reaching its closing stages.
Syria continues its efforts to transfer large quantities of war materiel, including rockets, to Lebanon, in an effort to assist Hezbollah in its war against Israel, a senior Israel Defense Forces source told Haaretz on Saturday.

According to the IDF source, the air force has succeeded in partially stemming the arms transfers, but intelligence shows that supply convoys have managed to cross into Lebanon from Syria.

Senior Syrian army and intelligence officers are involved in the arms smuggling, according to the senior IDF source, who says it is unlikely this continues without the explicit support of the regime in Damascus.

Two specific types of weapons - anti-tank missiles and rockets used to target Israeli civilians - are of concern.

The alert levels of the Syrian army, especially on the Golan Heights, is at its highest levels since the Lebanon War in 1982. The Syrian preparedness is mostly defensive, but the IDF is not excluding the possibility that Damascus will initiate a limited ground operation during the closing stages of the war.

Such an act, from a Syrian point of view, would aim at improving its position toward the end of the current confrontation and force Israel to begin negotiations on a broader diplomatic initiative that would include the return of the Golan Heights.

Part of the IDF's defensive deployment is meant to counter such a threat, including the deployment of anti-aircraft missiles in Haifa and the Sharon to intercept possible launches of Syrian Scud surface-to-surface ballistic missiles targetting Israeli cities.
The same article also mentions the discovery of more Iranian revolutionary guards among the Hezbullah dead, a story I covered last week.


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