IDF: Syria Arming, Training Hezbollah Operatives

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Israel Defense Force believes Syria has opened much of its weapons cache to Hezbollah, providing among other things medium- and longer-range surface-to-surface missiles and anti-aircraft radar systems.

According to an Israeli official quoted in the Kuwaiti paper al Jarida, Syria is not only supplying a wide range of weaponry to the Lebanese-based Iranian proxy, it's also training Hezbollah operatives on the equipment.

Included are Russian-manufactured air-defense systems and longer-range missiles, such as the Syrian-made M600, fashioned after Iran's Fateh-110.

That missile can deliver its half-ton payload up to 185 miles away, putting it well within striking range of major Israeli cities, such as Tel Aviv and even Beersheva in the south.

Earlier this week, the IDF released footage of a 12-foot-long missile being removed from a building in southern Lebanon that housed one of Hezbollah's weapons storage facilities, which had blown up the day before.

As worrisome to Israel as the long-range missiles and anti-aircraft systems is Syria's large cache of nonconventional weapons -- such as Mustard Gas and Sarin.

During the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, Hezbollah fired more than 4,000 missiles and rockets on northern Israel.

The IDF estimates the terror group has amassed more than 50,000 rockets since then.

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The Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz contributed to this report.

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