As war rages on in Syria, especially in the town of Aleppo, where the cease fire truce has little or no effect on peace in the region, industrial weapons are being built for the terror group Hezbollah. Syria has resumed industrial production of weapons for Hezbollah, Major General (MG) Herzi Halevi, the head of Israeli Military Intelligence, said on June 15th.
Speaking at the annual Herzliya Conference, MG Halevi added that when combined with Iranian weapons trafficking to Hezbollah, the resumption of Syrian production could ignite another war, warning that Israel
“nor the rest of the world should accept it. It could escalate [into] the next conflict.”
He did not say what weapons Syria is producing for Hezbollah, but IHS Jane’s understands they include “guided rockets”, a possible reference to Syria’s Tishrin (also known as the M-600) version of the Iranian Fateh-110 tactical ballistic missile. Iranian officials say the latest Fateh-110 versions have a range of 300 km.
The Israeli defense establishment is particularly concerned about the growing number of such weapons in Hezbollah’s possession as they could be used to carry out precision attacks against strategic targets deep inside Israeli territory. MG Halevi also warned that “the dynamics of escalation” could lead to an unintended conflict. He said,
“We live in an era in which it is most likely for wars to begin even though neither side is interested in them. No military has had more intelligence on their enemies as we do about Hezbollah today. We have no offensive intentions in Lebanon [and] we do not want a war, but we’re ready for one more than ever. [Hezbollah or other enemies] wouldn’t risk additional conflict [if they know Israel’s ‘military capabilities’]. Hezbollah is suffering heavy casualties in Syria but also experiences significant achievements, and in this process they learn a lot and gain access to new means of combat.”
He noted that the Shiite organization Hezbollah, which controls southern Lebanon, is being aided by Iran, including through shipments of weapons.
“Syrian industries have resumed the production of weaponry for Hezbollah, and neither the world nor Israel should accept it — it could escalate the next conflict,” he warned.
The 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war ended with a fragile United Nations-brokered ceasefire after 34 days of bloody fighting. Occasional hostilities have continued since then, with Hezbollah militants firing towards northern Israel and Israeli bombing convoys of weapons for Hezbollah.
With Syria resuming its industrial weapons building for Hezbollah, especially in the midst of a civil war and war on ISIS, will this amplify tensions in the region and will Iran be thrown into the mix due to their relationship with the terror group? Sound off in the comments below.