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Tags: Hezbollah | scuds | Syria | Lebanon

Hezbollah Admits Receiving Syrian Scuds

Thursday, 15 April 2010 08:46 AM EDT

JERUSALEM - Hezbollah sources confirmed Thursday that the terror group received a shipment of Scud missiles from Syria, the Kuwaiti paper Al-Rai reported.

According to the report, the missiles were claimed to be old and unusable. Hezbollah also accused Israel of blowing the incident out of proportion in order to provoke a media ruckus.

The sources added, "Our organization has many surface-to-surface missiles spread across all of Lebanon, in case Israel attacks the country again.”

In spite of this confirmation, the Syrian Foreign Ministry denied the reports, saying Israel was trying to stoke tensions in the Middle East and could be setting the stage for a possible Israeli "aggression" to avoid Middle East peace requirements.

Thursday's Syrian statement comes after President Shimon Peres accused Syria of supplying the Lebanese guerrillas with Scuds for the first time.

Israeli defense officials also have said they believe Hezbollah has Scud missiles, and that their introduction could alter the strategic balance with the Islamic guerrilla group.

In an effort to prevent a new conflict, Al-Rai reported Monday that the US State Department summoned the Syrian ambassador in Washington, Imad Mustafa, and warned him that war could break out if the weapons shipments were not stopped.

At the same time, according to the Wall Street Journal, the IDF came very close recently to attacking a convoy carrying weapons from Syria to Lebanon, but at the last moment decided against it.

The possibility that Syria would transfer Scud missiles to Hezbollah is not a new fear in the Israeli defense establishment.

According to the Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai, Israel sent warnings to Syria through Turkey and Qatar that it would “bomb Lebanese and Syrian targets in case the missiles crossed the border and reached Hezbollah.”

In related news, Col. Ronen Cohen, former head of the Northern Front in Military Intelligence and the current chief intelligence officer for the IDF’s Central Command, said in a research paper that an Israeli bombing of Lebanese national infrastructure would likely unite the Lebanese people behind Hezbollah and its leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.

© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, 15 April 2010 08:46 AM
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