'Syria increasing arms shipments to Hezbollah'

Intel officials tell 'The Times' Syria gave Shi'ite group Scud D missiles putting "Israel, Jordan, large parts of Turkey within Hezbollah's range."

July 16, 2011 11:52
1 minute read.
Scud D launcher

Scud D launcher. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Damascus is increasing shipments of advanced missiles and other weapons to Hezbollah amid continuing unrest in Syria, The Times of London reported Friday quoting Western intelligence officials.

The officials said Syria provided Hezbollah with eight Scud D missiles that have a range of 700 kilometers.

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The missiles "are accurate to within tens of meters and bring all of Israel, Jordan and large parts of Turkey within Hezbollah's range," the officials were quoted by the newspaper as saying.

They also said that, "This is the first time that a terror organization has obtained a missile of this type," which is considered a "strategic weapon" that "has been held only by national armies."

The Times also quoted an Israeli intelligence official who said Syria "was engaged in a serious arms build-up," adding that the weapons transfers started after the revolution began in Egypt.

The report comes after the French paper Le Figaro reported last month that a stash of Lebanese weapons destined for Hezbollah was hidden and distributed in densely-populated urban areas including the southern Syrian city of Homs and cities just outside Damascus.

In May, Western intelligence agencies expressed concern that Hezbollah might try to transfer the advanced weaponry it reportedly maintains on Syrian soil if it feels that Syrian 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.

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