Thursday, October 16, 2008

Russia suspected of secretly delivering arms to Hezbollah

Russia suspected of secretly delivering arms to Hezbollah
Liberation (france) 16 October 2008
[Translation - MidEastWeb - Middle East ] Outside local newspapers, the event went unnoticed: On July 4, the Angela, a cargo ship flying the flag of Gibraltar was the subject of a thorough search in the Bulgarian port of Varna where it stopped.

In two containers, police and customs officers discovered dual use, metal pipes - both civilian and military products in Russia. The grooves on both sides of the tubes suggest that these parts were for the assembly of missiles. These did not correspond to anyything mentioned in the cargo manifest.

Missiles. According to a source close to the investigation, contacted by phone, the papers indicate that the boat came from Ukraine and was destined to travel to Port Said (Egypt), via Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey. Questioned for seventeen hours, the captain, a Lithuanian, eventually confessed that the vessel was destined for Latakia, a major Syrian pors. The Angela eventually departed, the crew was not found responsible for its load. Eight of sixty containers have been retained  by Bulgarian customs.
Why such a clandestine delivery, while Moscow and Damascus are linked by  military cooperation agreements, and the Russian fleet even has a naval base in Tartus, the second largest Syrian port? Unless the final destination of the material seized in Varna is not Syria. According to Western military sources, if these missiles are assembled in
Syria, part of them is destined for
Hezbollah. Therefore, Damascus must hide these weapons purchases under penalty of being  in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which called for the disarming of Hezbollah.

Pressures.  The case of Angela complicated the affairs of Damascus. On 21 and 22 August, during the visit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Moscow, his counterpart Dimitri Medvedev had made him party to concerns
that Washington and European countries were now exercising pressure on Moscow to prevent such secret .deliveries During the
Second Lebanon War, the "party of God" fired thousands of Soviet manufactured missiles on the cities of the Jewish state. Today, in its established strongholds north of the Litani River, Hezbollah has replenished its arsenal and has about 40,000 rockets and missiles.

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