Concern is mounting in Israel over the possibility that Hezbollah will try to move sophisticated weaponry, including Scud missiles, from Syria to Lebanon to protect them in the event ofSyrian President Bashar Assad’s downfall.
The concern stems from reports that Assad might be losing control over certain military capabilities including an air defense base which was captured by rebels earlier this week.Syria is believed to have allocated a number of Scud D missiles – the most advanced missile in its arsenal – to Hezbollah already in 2010 but they have been stored in bases in Syria.
The understanding until now has been that the missiles would only be transferred to Lebanon in the event of a war with Israel but not before as to prevent a potential Israeli military strike.
Now though, with Syria in the midst of an uprising, there is concern that Hezbollah might try to move the missiles into Lebanon to prevent them from being captured by rebels or other rogue elements.
If this happens and Israel becomes aware of the transfer, the government will have to decide if it should attack and intercept the transfer or ignore it to prevent such a strike from escalating into an all-out war with Hezbollah and Syria.
An Israeli strike in Syria could provide Assad with the opportunity to use Israel as a scapegoat and divert attention away from his violent crackdown, to Israeli violence.
On the other hand, the delivery of Scud D missiles to Hezbollah would be a significant increase to the organization’s capabilities. Syrian Scud Ds have a range of about 700 km. and can carry non-conventional warheads.