Hezbollah commanders say Russia directly arming them with long-range missiles

As part of their ongoing cooperation, Russia has supplied Hezbollah with weapons in exchange for intel and assistance in target selection, commanders tell Daily Beast.

January 11, 2016 16:04
2 minute read.
Syrian President Bashar Assad (L), Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) and Hassan Nasrallah

A poster showing Syrian President Bashar Assad (L), Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) and Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is seen on a micro bus near Latakia. (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

Lebanon's Hezbollah is surreptitiously being armed by Russia, the Daily Beast reported Sunday, with no conditions being placed on the acceptable use of the traded arms.

According to two Hezbollah field commanders who spoke to the online publication, Russia and Hezbollah's direct interdependence and coordination is increasing by day.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

While the United States and the European Union have proceeded to support Israel's recognition of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization serving Iranian interests, Russia has refrained. A statement issued by its Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in November said that Russia "maintains contacts and relations with them [Hezbollah] because we do not consider them a terrorist organization.”

As part of the ongoing cooperation between the two, Russia has supplied Hezbollah with long-range tactical missiles, laser guided rockets, and anti-tank weapons, its commanders said.

"We are strategic allies in the Middle East right now," said Commander Bakr - speaking to the Daily Beast under an alias so as not to overstep a ban to speak to media.

Bakr said that Russia's support of Hezbollah has been increasing since 2012, taking a sharp turn with the launch of Russia's air campaigns in Syria in September 2015. He said Russia relies on Hezbollah operatives for intelligence and assistance in target selection for its air strikes, strengthening the interdependence between the two.

With Hezbollah forces on the ground and Russian jets in the air, Hezbollah has made advances that would be impossible sans support.

“The intervention of the Russians made it much easier,” Bakr said of his organization's fight in Syria. “Without their air force we can’t advance and they couldn’t give us air support without our information from the ground,” he said.

He also told the Daily Beast that Special Forces of the Russian army were operating on the ground in Syria's Latakia district.

Russian and Hezbollah officials did not comment on the Daily Beast's report.

Assir (also an alias), a Hezbollah recruiter and Special Forces commander, told the Daily Beast that the Russians rely on Hezbollah, rather than Syrian military forces, to guard its arm depots in Syria - giving them extensive access to its contents.

Russia is not placing restrictions on how these weapons may be used, Assir said, giving rise to the possibility that advanced Russian weapons be used against Israel by Hezbollah.

“When it comes to Israel, Hezbollah doesn’t take directions from anyone,” Assir told the Daily Beast.

Both Hezbollah commanders maintained that, despite free access to the arsenals, Hezbollah would not rely on Russian weapons in a confrontation with Israel. The Iranian arms in their possession will make do.

Related Content

   Members of a Shia militia guard a house in Iraq. The new NDAA warned about the presence of Irania
August 14, 2018
Analysis: Congress’s NDAA gave Trump a green light to confront Iran