Israel: Hezbollah used Russian-made missiles
Russia denies supplying militants, hints possible third party connection
The Associated Press
Updated: 1:56 p.m. ET Aug 18, 2006
JERUSALEM - Israeli officials said Friday that a senior delegation went to Moscow this week to complain that Russian-made anti-tank missiles were used by Hezbollah guerrillas in their 34-day conflict with Israeli forces in Lebanon.
Asaf Shariv, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said that the delegation had gone to Russia, but did not elaborate.
The anti-tank missiles proved to be one of Hezbollah’s most effective weapons in combat in south Lebanon, killing many of the 118 Israeli soldiers who died in the clashes.
Israeli officials say that Iran and Syria passed the arms to Hezbollah after buying them from Russia.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said Russia maintains strict controls over its weapons sales that “makes any inaccuracy in weapons destinations impossible.”
Anatoly Tsyganok, head of Russia’s Military Forecasting Center, ruled out the possibility that modern anti-tank weapons had reached Hezbollah through Russia or Syria.
“Any accusations alleging Russian or Syrian deliveries of anti-tank weapons to any forces in Lebanon are unfounded. The Israeli side has not presented any evidence of this, and it is unlikely that it will,” Tsyganok was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.
“Most probably, such weapons, should Hezbollah militants really have any, might have been brought to Lebanon through third countries,” he added.
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