Israel Finds Syrian and Iranian Weapons in Hezbollah Town

Israeli officials reported that Russian weapons were used by Hezbollah in the battles in Lebanon:

Abandoned Hezbollah positions in Lebanon yesterday revealed conclusive evidence that Syria — and almost certainly Iran — provided the Russian-made anti-tank missiles that have blunted the power of Israel’s once invincible armor, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Outside one of the town’s two mosques a van was found filled with green casings about 6ft long. The serial numbers identified them as AT-5 Spandrel anti-tank missiles. The wire-guided weapon was developed in Russia but Iran began making a copy in 2000.

AT-5 Spandrel anti-tank missile

Beyond no-man’s land, in the east of the village, was evidence of Syrian-supplied hardware. In a garden next to a junction used as an outpost by Hezbollah lay eight Kornet anti-tank rockets, described by Brig Mickey Edelstein, the commander of the Nahal troops who took Ghandouriyeh, as “some of the best in the world”.

Written underneath a contract number on each casing were the words: “Customer: Ministry of Defence of Syria. Supplier: KBP, Tula, Russia.”

Brig Edelstein said: “If they tell you that Syria knew nothing about this, just look. This is the evidence. Proof, not just talk.”

The discovery of the origin of the weapons proved to the Israelis that their enemy was not a ragged and lightly armed militia but a semi-professional army equipped by Syria and Iran to take on Israel. The weapons require serious training to operate and could be beyond the capabilities of some supposedly regular armies in the Middle East. The Kornet was unveiled by Russia in 1994. It is laser-guided, has a range of three miles and carries a double warhead capable of penetrating the reactive armour on Israeli Merkava tanks. Russia started supplying them to Syria in 1998.

More on the AT-5’s:

The AT-5 Spandrel was developed by the Tula Machinery Design Bureau (Tula KBP). Development began in 1962 with the aim of producing the next generation of SACLOS ATGM’s, for use in both the man portable role and the tank destroyer role. The AT-5 was developed alongside the AT-4; both missiles use similar technology, only differing in size.

Iran began producing a copy the Towsan-1/M113 sometime around 2000.

And, here is a piece that is hard to argue with from the Boston Herald. interviewed Israeli General Yaakov Amidror yesterday on the developments in the crisis. The audio is now up on the One Jerusalem website.

I am planning on listening in on the next call with one of the world’s leading experts on Iran: Uri Lubrani, tomorrow.

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