Hizbollah using US-supplied weapons, says senior Israeli officer

The weapons were given to Lebanon by the Obama administration to boost the fight against Daesh


According to a senior IDF officer, Israeli intelligence has collected evidence that US-supplied weapons are being used by Hizbollah in its campaign in support of the Assad regime in Syria.

The weapons, mainly armoured personnel carriers, were supplied to Lebanon as part of the support provided by the Obama administration to Lebanon in its fight against Daesh and other Islamist militants.

Hizbollah has been fighting alongside Iran's Islamic Republic Guards Corps in Syria on the side of the Assad regime for nearly six years now. According to Israeli intelligence assessments, the Shia militia has lost over 1,700 fighters in Syria and the Iranians over 1,000.

Lebanon has received over $200 million worth of weapons this year from the US, making it the fifth highest recipient of American military assistance. The Israeli intelligence community believes that the weapons were transferred to Hizbollah as part of a deal with the Lebanese army and that the Shia force has recently “strengthened its grip on the main national institutions in Lebanon”, including the army.

The increased cooperation between the Lebanese Army and Hizbollah - whose leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah was described by the senior officer as “the most powerful man in Lebanon” - has taken also the form of joint patrols on the border with Israel. The senior Israeli officer said that Israel was in favour of Lebanon having an army to secure its territory but did not want to see Hizbollah playing a role in that army.

The information passed on by Israeli intelligence puts the US in a difficult position, as it is has been increasing its efforts to support “moderate” Arab forces confronting Daesh. In recent months there have been similar cases in which American weapons supplied to the Iraqi government have been seen in use by Iranian-backed Shia militias fighting in the battle of Mosul in Iraq.

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