Russian arms for Hizballah cross Israel’s red line

President Vladimir Putin turns aside all Israel’s complaints about Russian arms supplies to Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hizballah, whenever he talks to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahuroughly every week-to-ten days. The issue is also raised without results by Israeli officials on trips to Moscow, including the visit by Yossi Cohen, Director of the Mossad, to the Russian capital on July 1.

Nonetheless, Netanyahu persisted in complaining again about the Russian arms reaching the Lebanese terrorist group in his latest phone conversation with Putin on Saturday, July 23. He made the call, debkafile military sources say, primarily to raise another topic at issue, the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) flights from Syria into Israeli airspace on July 17.

Moscow is making use of the sophisticated Forpost UAV for surveillance and intelligence-gathering in Syria, Ukraine and terrorist targets in the Caucasian mountains.

If IDF chiefs are correct, then a Russian drone developed by Israel was used by to spy on Israel after it was launched from an Iranian or Hizballah base in the Syrian Qalamun Mountains. This action crossed more than one Israeli red line.

Adding insult to injury, the drone’s electronic jamming devices were activated to disarm the missiles and aircraft Israel scrambled to intercept it.

This issue is a further irritant on top of the Russian arms supplies to Hizballah, which elude Israel’s efforts to   interrupt them by two covert tactics:

1. Russian weapons consignments to the Syrian army are in excess of the recipient’s requirements; the surplus is secretly diverted to the Hizballah. Israeli air strikes only smash the Iranian and Syrian weapons convoys known to be heading out of Syria to Lebanon on the strength of data provided by Israeli military intelligence (Aman). But the traffic missed by Aman goes through to its destination.

By this tactic, our military sources report, Hizballah has succeeded in basing most of its fighting units, not only in Syria, but also in Lebanon, on Russian weaponry – last year, at a battalion level; by June 2016, including company level. Their hardware is not limited to personal side-arms from Russia, but also anti-aircraft and anti-tanks missiles.

Where do they come from?

2. The Russian military industry is the main supplier of raw materials for Syria’s arms manufacture, including missiles. Without this assistance, the Assad regime would not have been able to manufacture the Scud C mid-range ground-to-ground missiles or the Fateh-110 missiles.

Some of these made-in-Syria missiles are quietly consigned to the Hizballah.

Full article: Russian arms for Hizballah cross Israel’s red line (DEBKAfile)

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