Iran Arming Hezbollah Via Turkey

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Iranian missiles are making their way to Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorists via Turkey, according to intelligence reports.

The arms shipments are in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which accompanied the U.N.-brokered cease-fire of the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.

According to Brigadier General Yossi Beiditz, head of the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) research department, Iran has never ceased its arms transfer to Hezbollah.

In a briefing to ambassadors from member nations of the European Union, Beiditz, quoting an unnamed intelligence source, said weapons, which include longer-range missiles, are flown through Turkish airspace and are also shipped overland disguised as civilian cargo.

The missiles arrive in Syria first and then are shipped to Lebanon.

According to Beiditz's source, Iran has shipped missiles with a 185-mile range, which when fired from Beirut can reach the southern Israeli city of Dimona. The general said these missiles are more accurate than Hezbollah's cache of 155-mile range rockets, plus they can carry a larger payload.

In May 2007, Turkish officials confiscated an Iranian weapons shipment, which included 300 rockets, being shipped by train and registered as cleaning materials.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon sent an update on Resolution 1701, which included Israel's assessment that Hezbollah has rearmed with "tens of thousands of long-range missiles and some 20,000 shorter-range rockets."

Ban criticized Israel's reconnaissance flights over Lebanon, citing the "anger these flights spark."

"The repeated violations on the part of Israel undermine the credibility of UNIFIL [UN peacekeeping forces] and of the Lebanese army in the eyes of the local population and are preventing them from carrying out their role," Ban wrote.

In his briefing, General Beiditz showed the EU ambassadors video footage taken during intelligence-gathering flights, which showed missiles being smuggled from Syria into Lebanon.

"Without the over-flights, it will be difficult for Israel to pinpoint the launchers, the Hezbollah arms depot and the smuggling," Beiditz' intelligence source said.

Source: Haaretz

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