IDF may act to stop Syria weapons smuggling

IDF commander says that Israel must obtain intelligence that weapons transfers from Syria to Hezbollah are taking place.

May 30, 2012 17:45
1 minute read.
Hezbollah gunman in Beirut

Hezbollah gunman in Beirut_370. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Israel will consider using military action to intercept the transfer of advanced weaponry or chemical weapons from Syria to a terrorist organization like Hezbollah, OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a conference marking the 30th anniversary of the First Lebanon War at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Golan said that the first challenge for Israel would be to obtain intelligence that such a transfer has taken place, but that once Israel knew it would need to consider action.

"Would it be wise to intercept such a transfer or would this be nonsense," Golan asked, presenting the dilemma Israel would face.

The senior officer said that Syria was a "failed state" and that terrorists were already "flourishing" within the country.

"Terror is already flourishing in Syria and the terror threat towards Israel is forming," he said. "It will not happen tomorrow but we need to be prepared. It is not hard to think of a reality in which al-Qaida elements already in Syria and fighting the regime will start to act against us. It is also possible that without a clear regime, Syria will also become another area of operations for Hezbollah."

Golan said that Iran was deeply concerned with the possibility that Bashar Assad will fall and is providing Syrian security forces with support, directly and via Hezbollah.

"Iran is here and we are fighting a daily war indirectly against Iran from Islamic Jihad in Gaza to Hezbollah in Lebanon," he said. "Iran's influence in Syria is also felt. It is very concerned with the future of its ally Bashar Assad and is trying to help him directly and via Hezbollah."

Golan issued a direct threat to Hezbollah and said that the IDF would deal it a "fatal blow" and defeat it in a future war.

"This defeat will be demonstrated by the capture and killing of Hezbollah fighters, the capture of their weapons and the destruction of their infrastructure," he said.

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