Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Haaretz - Israel News - Israel Panics over Quality of Iranian Rockets

Haaretz - Israel News - Analysis / Iran-Syria-Hezbollah s rocket array: "Analysis / Iran-Syria-Hezbollah's rocket array

By Ze'ev Schiff

The threat from the rockets supplied by Iran and Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon has grown both in range and quantity.

The commander in chief of the army in Syria army considers the rocket array to be part of his country's general deployment against Israel in case of war. More significant from Israel's viewpoint is the part played by Iran in deploying the rocket array in supplies provided by air, sea, and overland from Syria to Lebanon. There is also Syrian and Iranian logistic support and training of Hezbollah in the use of the rockets.

Not everything is known about the new Iranian-made rockets, with possible ranges of 115, 170 - perhaps even 210 kilometers. They may number a few dozen, and they apparently are not deployed in southern Lebanon.

It is not possible Lebanon's prime minister and military chiefs don't know these rockets have arrived, and if they are stored in the Beirut area. This is a major logistic operation requiring planes or sea transport to Lebanese ports. Some of the rockets have been transported by land from Syria and others flown from Iran to Damascus airport.

All through the years that the rocket deployment has been building in Lebanon, Israel did not hit any convoy transporting them. The rockets requires numerous storage depots that could have been hit from the air and by other means.

The rockets in Lebanon should not be viewed as merely a Hezbollah array. It is an Iran-Syria-Hezbollah.

The threat to Israel that was building up for such a long time is therefore a threat from Syria and Iran, operated by a Lebanese proxy. It has a strategic aspect because of the range of the rockets, and it is clear that if it is exercised, this could not be considered a serious border incident, but a shot in an all-out war. This is known in Syria - and especially well known in Lebanon."


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