IDF concerned Hezbollah may acquire chemical weapons (ISRAEL HAYOM) Lilach Shoval 03/18/12)
Israel Hayom Articles-Index-Top
Israel Defense Forces assessments indicate the terrorist organization
may get its hands on chemical weapons and advanced anti-aircraft
systems • Northern Command officer: We will have to formulate a new
response to attacks using such weapons.
If Hezbollah acquires chemical weapons and advanced anti-aircraft
systems, the Israel Defense Forces will have to recalibrate thier
planned defenses to Hezbollah attacks, a senior Northern Command
officer told Israel Hayom on Friday.
According to the officer, the IDF is concerned that more lethal and
advanced weapons could be transferred from Syria to Hezbollah if the
Syrian leadership finds itself in a desperate situation.
A senior defense official said last month that the transfer of
chemical weapons from Syria to Hezbollah would be tantamount to a
declaration of war, and added that Israel would not accept such a
move and would take action to prevent it.
In the past, when Syria agreed to transfer an initial batch of M-600
long-range missiles to Hezbollah, the IDF considered a military
strike to prevent the missiles from reaching the organization.
Although the IDF decided not to carry out such a strike at that time,
and Hezbollah reportedly received hundreds of those missiles -- which
are capable of reaching Tel Aviv -- the IDF is now determined not to
allow Hezbollah to obtain advanced anti-aircraft systems that would
jeopardize its aerial supremacy over Lebanon.
IDF commanders are also concerned about recent reports of Hezbollah
fighters undergoing training in Syria and Iran to operate anti-
“Hezbollah, with Iran’s help, is trying to prepare its next
surprises,” the officer said.
Defense officials are also on alert for attempts by Hezbollah to
attack Israelis abroad, which according to the officer could also
elicit a significant response by Israel. “We will not ignore such an
attack simply because it occurred outside Israel. An attack of that
kind will obligate us to respond harshly,” the officer said.
In addition to Hezbollah’s continued stockpiling of weapons, defense
officials believe that Syria has acquired SS-N-26 Yakhont supersonic
cruise missiles from Russia, which could threaten Israeli ships
during a military confrontation.
There have been reports in the past of advanced weapons transfers to
Hezbollah and defense officials have been warning of additional
transfers for some time.
In July 2011, the London Times reported that Syria sent Hezbollah two
Scud D missiles, each with the ability to deliver a payload of one
metric ton. Hezbollah has reportedly received eight more Scuds since
the beginning of 2011. Each Scud D has a range of 700 kilometers,
enabling Hezbollah to target any point in Israel and Jordan, as well
as some parts of Turkey.
Last month, the Israel Defense organization’s website claimed that an
unknown number of RPG-30 missiles may have been acquired by
Hezbollah. The advanced missiles are said to be capable of
penetrating armor protection systems, including the IDF Armored
Corp’s Windbreaker anti-tank missile shield system, which is
installed on all new IDF Merkava Mark IV tanks.
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