The Middle East Newsline has confirmed that Syria has established an arsenal of extended-range Scud-class ballistic missiles along the border with Lebanon.
Western intelligence sources said the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has overseen the accumulation of a huge missile arsenal along the Syrian border with Lebanon. They said the arsenal included Scud C and Scud D missiles, with ranges of 550 and 700 kilometers, respectively. “The Scuds are kept just inside Syrian territory to avoid an Israeli attack,” an intelligence source said.
The sources said the Syrian military has been training the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah to operate the Scuds. They said some of the Scud missile infrastructure has been transferred to Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa Valley.
“If the Syrians want to, they could transport and fire Scud launchers from Lebanon within hours,” the source said. Western intelligence agencies have assessed that Syria deployed about 1,000 Scud C and D missiles near the Bekaa Valley. The sources said
Hezbollah was believed to have received Scud equipment rather than launchers.
In April 2010, Israel reported that Syria shipped Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The United States has not confirmed the shipment, but expressed concern over Iranian arms transfers to Hezbollah. The sources said the missile shipments to Hezbollah, detected by Israeli reconnaissance satellites, stem from both Iran and Syria. They said
Hezbollah operates a depot at Damascus International Airport and transports the ballistic missiles into Lebanon via trucks.
Damascus and Teheran were also said to have been cooperating in liquid- and solid-fuel missile production in Syria. In 2010, the sources said, Iran helped finance North Korean assistance for the manufacture of the Scud D, which contains a separating warhead, as well as solid-fuel rockets, such as the Fateh-110.
“Under the program, Hezbollah would receive the liquid-fuel Scuds, while
Syria would produce more advanced solid-fuel missiles,” the source said. Iran and North Korea have also helped establish a command and control facility near Damascus to operate the missile arsenals in both Syria and Lebanon. The sources said the C2 center would direct massive Scud salvos toward Israel.
“The Iranian and Syrian strategy is for coordinated missile launches to take place from Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip,” the source said.