The IDF has changed its operational assessment regarding the threat from Lebanon and is currently working under the assumption that Hezbollah has obtained sophisticated long-range surface-to-air missile systems from Syria, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
According to Western intelligence assessments, Hezbollah is believed to have taken advantage of the ongoing upheaval in Syria to obtain advanced weapons systems, such as additional long-range rockets as well as Russian-made air-defense systems.While Hezbollah is known to have a large quantity of shoulder- launched anti-aircraft missiles, the IDF now assumes that the Lebanese Islamist group has received the SA-8, a truck-mounted Russian tactical surface- to-air missile system reported to have a range of 30 kilometers.In addition to the possible transfer of air-defense systems, Hezbollah is also believed to have received several dozen more M600 long-range missiles, as well as additional 302 mm. Khaibar-1 rockets, which have a range of about 100 kilometers.
It is already believed to have a significant arsenal of M600s, which are manufactured in Syria as a clone of Iran’s Fateh- 110. The M600 has a range of around 300 kilometers. It can carry a half-ton warhead and has superior accuracy.As reported two weeks ago in the Post, Israel is particularlyconcerned with the
possibility that Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons will fall into terrorist hands, amid predictions that President Bashar Assad’s regime will fall in the coming months. This has not yet happened, though, and Syrian chemical warfare facilities are understood to still be under the control of Assad’s regime.
Yukiya Amano says Iran has failed to clarify its atomic development activities to the satisfaction of the United Nations nuclear watchdog body -- and now it's his job to warn the world about its possible military intentions.
"What we know suggests the development of nuclear weapons," FTD quoted the IAEA chief as saying "We want to check over everything that could have a military dimension."
The IAEA released a report in November 2011 saying it had credible intelligence that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons technology. "The agency has serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program," the report stated.
Russia warned on Wednesday that an attack on Iran would be a "catastrophe" for the region and said world powers should adopt a policy of non-intervention in the Middle East and North Africa.
“It is impossible to list all the consequences [of an attack],” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an annual address. “But I have no doubt that it would pour oil on the still smoldering fire of Sunni-Shia confrontation, which would lead to a chain reaction.”He also said that Russia would “do everything” in its power to prevent an attack on Iran.
The United Nations nuclear watchdog chief said it was his duty to warn the world about suspected Iranian activities that point to plans to develop atomic bomb, maintaining pressure on Tehran ahead of rare talks between Iran and his agency expected this month.
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, made clear in an interview with Financial Times Deutschland that the UN body would press for full cooperation in meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran."What we know suggests the development of nuclear weapons," he was quoted as saying in comments published in German on Thursday, adding Iran had so far failed to clarify allegations of possible military links to its nuclear program."I have absolutely no reason to soften my report. It is my responsibility to alarm the world," Amano said. "The overall pattern led me to the decision to alarm the world. The more pieces [of information], the clearer the pattern becomes."
Gen. Martin Dempsey arrives Thursday, Jan. 19, for his first visit to Israel as Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff amid a major falling-out between the two governments over the handling of Iran's nuclear weapon potential.Washington sources confirm that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands by the view that Iran is advancing its plans to build a nuclear bomb full speed ahead, undeterred even by the threat of harsher sanctions.Netanyahu therefore stands by his refusal of President Barack Obama's demand for a commitment to abstain from a unilateral strike on Iran's nuclear sites without prior notice to Washington.The US president repeated this demand when he called the Israeli prime minister Thursday night Jan. 13. Netanyahu replied that, in view of their disagreement on this point, he preferred to cancel the biggest US-Israel war game ever staged due to have taken place in April. The exercise was to have tested the level of coordination between the two armies in missile defense for the contingency of a war with Iran or a regional conflict.Obama needs to be sure he will not be taken by surprise by an Israel attack in the middle of his campaign for re-election, especially since he has begun taking heat on the Iranian issue.