Syria sends Scuds in separate shipments, say sources

Posted: April 25, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Hezbollah, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism

R-11 "Zemlya" ("Earth") aka Scud A While several Arab states – particularly Egypt – deny Israel’s claim of Syria supplying Russian-made Scud ground-to-ground missiles to Lebanese HizbAllah, some sources say Bashar Assad’s people ship older R-11 type rockets (also known as Scud A) to Lebanon in disassembled condition, broken up into several separate shipments:

According to Western intelligence sources, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put in an urgent phone call to Syrian president Bashar Assad Thursday, April 22, to urge Assad to make as many Scud transfers to Lebanon as possible and enable Hizballah to deploy them opposite Israel without delay. He implied that speed was necessary because Iran is preparing to strike out against US Middle East interests and he wants Iran’s Lebanese proxy to be ready for all possible eventualities. The Iranian president dismissed Israel as a declining force with its political and military strength in a state of paralysis.

The two presidents speculated about the source of the leak to the media about the Scuds for Hizballah. Ahmadinejad said Iranian intelligence had turned up a source in the Syrian military who was probably a mole and offered to help hunt him down.

(DebkaFile)

IT SEEMS SYRIA ships the parts to the Lebanese, while keeping the fact under the radar, hence the disassembly of the large missiles into parts. While such missiles uphold HizbAllah’s reliance on low-accuracy, short-range rockets, the Scud is an achievement for the group. Before the Second Lebanon War of 2006, it was implied Nasrallah possessed such weapons, and according to Israeli claims some sites that could be used to launch Scuds were bombed.

It wouldn’t be first time Israel is threatened with the Scud. During 1991 Desert Storm, Saddam Hussein launched several such missiles, landing on Tel Aviv, killing several civilians and wounding dozens.

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