Syria Claims Hezbollah Smuggling Unstoppable

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem says his country can't do anything about weapons smuggling to the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israel Radio reports Moualem told the Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq that the Syrian border with Lebanon cannot be hermetically sealed, which means that the smuggling will continue.

For years, Israel has tracked the weapons smuggling and has targeted Syria as a major conduit for arming and rearming Hezbollah.

Israeli intelligence believes Hezbollah now possesses 40,000 rockets, triple the number it had before the war, which Hezbollah provoked in July, 2006.

Israel and Syria have been holding indirect talks brokered by Turkey, and one of Israel's top demands in those talks is that Syria stop supporting Hezbollah.

Moualem, who met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last Friday, also dismissed a suggestion by Israeli President Shimon Peres that Syria engage in direct peace talks with Israel.

Source: Haaretz

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