Iran, Syria Working To Rearm Hezbollah - Report

November 25th, 2006  

Topic: Iran, Syria Working To Rearm Hezbollah - Report

Smuggling weapons through Syria, Iran is in the process of rearming Hezbollah, according to reports by Saudi and Israeli intelligence sources that have been confirmed by western diplomats in Beirut, Time magazine reported on its Web site Friday.
Israeli military officials claim that Hezbollah has replenished almost half of its stockpiles of short-range missiles and small arms that had been depleted in last summer's war with Israel. The diplomats in Beirut, however, say those estimates underestimate the weapons flow and that Hezbollah has now filled its war chest with over 20,000 short-range missiles.
"The Iranian pipeline through Syria was already working during the war," despite Israel's constant bombing raids on the roads to Lebanon from Syria, said a Beirut source, according to the Time report.
"There has been a serious increase in (Iranian and Syrian) activity in the rearming of Hezbollah," said Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi security adviser who is managing director of the Riyadh-based Saudi National Security Assessment Project, a consulting group that advises the Saudi government. According to Obaid, "a huge stream of trucks" has crossed the border from Syria into Lebanon, ferrying thinly disguised arms shipments, Time reported.
Obaid added that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security are using the Iranian embassies in Damascus and Beirut as command-and-control centers. Time said it had confirmed Obaid's claim with Israeli military sources.
Syria and Iran, meanwhile, officially deny they are supplying weapons to Hezbollah. But a Hezbollah spokesman, when asked by Time about receiving arms from Syria and Iran, said without elaborating, "We have more than enough weapons if Israel tries to attack us again."
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