Fearing Assad demise, Hezbollah may move assets

Israel concerned about whose hands missiles and extensive chemical weapons held by Assad’s military would fall into if his regime is toppled.

May 12, 2011 23:55
2 minute read.
Hezbollah rocket launcher

Hezbollah rocket launcher 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Concern is growing among Western intelligence agencies that Hezbollah might try to transfer advanced weaponry it reportedly maintains on Syrian soil if it feels that President Bashar Assad’s reign is on the verge of ending.

Last year, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu revealed in a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that Hezbollah was storing Scud missiles in military bases in Syria.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

'Syria, Hezbollah to compete over firing Scud at Tel Aviv'
'Bahrain says Hezbollah seeking to overthrow regime'
Hezbollah terror attack on Israelis abroad ‘is imminent’

The London Times revealed at the time a compound near the town of Adra, northeast of Damascus, where it said Hezbollah fighters had their own living quarters and which housed arms and a fleet of trucks used to ferry weapons into Lebanon.

Hezbollah is believed to have stored other advanced arms in Syria – including long-range rockets – as part of its logistical deployment along Israel’s northern border.

Israel’s main concern in Syria has to do with the fate of the advanced missiles and extensive chemical weapons held by Assad’s military and the question of whose hands they would fall into in the event that his regime is toppled. Since Israel’s bombing of the nuclear reactor Assad was covertly building in 2007, Syria has put a stronger emphasis on chemical weapons and nonconventional warheads.

At the moment, the Syrian military is believed to still be in full control of its assets and troops, although some lowlevel soldiers have defected to the opposition.

A senior IDF officer said on Thursday that Hezbollah and Iran were extremely concerned by the protests in Syria.

“They worry about what will happen to their axis, that included Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, if Assad falls,” the senior officer said. According to the officer, both Iran and Hezbollah have sent advisers to Syria to assist the military in quelling the growing protests.

In recent years, a significant portion of Hezbollah’s weaponry has been manufactured in Syria or smuggled into Lebanon via Syria. One known route was over land – originating in Iran, moving through Turkey, into Syria, and then into Lebanon. Another was by sea from Iran to Syria and then by land to Lebanon. There have also been instances of planes that have taken off from Iran and landed in Lebanon with weaponry.

The land route involving Turkey has for the most part been exposed and is no longer believed to be in use, due to a Turkish decision to distance itself from its relations with Syria amid Assad’s violent crackdown on his people.

Related Content

idf hebron
August 22, 2014
Palestinians throw Molotov cocktail at IDF checkpoint in Hebron