Saturday, 8 May 2010

Love of the Land: What the Scud crisis revealed

What the Scud crisis revealed

Hussain Abdul-Hussain
NOW Lebanon
06 May '10
Posted before Shabbat

The question as to whether Hezbollah has received Scud missiles from Syria remains unanswered. What is clear is that the crisis reinforced the fact that Hezbollah remains the sovereign power in Lebanon, a situation that Syria is keen to exploit, while the Lebanese state has gone on a walkabout.

It has long been known that Hezbollah was replenishing most of its depleted weapons stock after the 2006 July War. One UN report after another has highlighted the Syrian-Hezbollah breach of Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1701.

In September 2009, the intelligence community in Washington was circulating substantiated reports about Syrian training of Hezbollah fighters on launching anti-aircraft missiles. In mid-January 2010, I published a story about this activity and reported that intelligence had proof that trucks of missiles were stationed on the Syrian side of the Lebanese border, with Damascus reluctant to order the trucks in after receiving indirect threats from Tel Aviv that such a step would put Syria at risk of Israeli retribution. The story received little reaction but also no denial at the time.

By mid-February 2010, the missiles had literally disappeared off the radar, which meant that they had either found their way to Hezbollah, or had been sent back to Syrian army depots. The State Department officially warned the Syrians against potentially shipping the missiles to Hezbollah on February 26.

On April 10, I reported the US warning to Syria, and retold the training story as the background. I also wrote that the prevailing thinking was that the missiles were Scud-D, and had most probably been shipped into Lebanon.

This time, all hell broke loose.

Newer reports have now surfaced that the missiles are actually M-600s, the Syrian version of the Iranian Fateh-110, rather than Scud-Ds. Whether the rockets actually made it into the hands of Hezbollah’s fighters could not be verified.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: What the Scud crisis revealed

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