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Sunday, September 10, 2006

DEBKAfile: Iranian weapons smuggling to Hezbullah has resumed

DEBKAfile reports this evening that Iranian weapons smuggling to Hezbullah resumed yesterday, immediately after Israel lifted the naval blockade of Lebanon. The weapons shipment arrived by air marked as "computer equipment" to be "handled with care," and was immediately loaded onto a truck and sent to Baalbek. Two more shipments followed.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, determined to end Israel’s air blockade on Lebanon, promised solemnly that UN monitors would control incoming passengers and goods at Beirut airport. But he failed to make the Siniora government follow through on this pledge. The Lebanese prime minister immediately barred the airport to UN inspections. The five German air monitors agreed on were only allowed to establish a checkpoint for controlling arms smuggling at a distance of one kilometer from the international airport. DEBKAfile reports they are standing idle because the trucks carrying forbidden cargoes are able leave the airfield and bypass their checkpoint by alternative routes.

At the same time, DEBKAfile’s diplomatic sources report the Israeli government and the UN are colluding to present the expanded UNIFIL project as a big success and a satisfactory formula for enabling Israeli troops to quit Lebanon and fully implementing UN resolution 1701.

In actual fact, the UN deployment by land and sea does nothing to curtail Hizballah’s recovery and rearming. Its only achievement thus far is the acceleration of Israel’s disengagement from the Lebanon scene empty-handed.

Our military sources disclose that Iran is sending Hizballah fresh supplies of anti-tank weapons and for the first time a large quantity of anti-air missiles. The war materiel is coming in by land, sea and air.

The promised Italian, French and Greek rival presence, on the strength of which Israel lifted its air blockade, has been pushed by the Lebanese government out to sea and restricted to a 12-km radius from the coast. The European warships can keep an eye on big freighters approaching Lebanese ports, but cannot keep track of the small vessels reaching Lebanon ports from the northern Syrian ports of Tartus and Latakia. That is where Iranian cargo vessels have been unloading large quantities of arms for Hizballah outside the European fleets’ limits in the last two weeks. Furthermore, Friday, as soon as Israel was persuaded to lift its sea blockade, three Lebanese and Syrian ships crammed with arms for Hizballah departed the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli and after a short voyage hugging the Lebanese coast put into the southern Lebanese port of Sidon, where willing Hizballah hands unloaded their cargo.

On land, the Lebanese-Syrian border is wide open. Three or four arms truck convoys cross into Lebanon every day.
And the Israeli government is colluding with this....


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