Reports of Hezbollah's
possession of components of the Yakhont advanced guided-missile systems raised concerns among the Israeli naval forces, which estimated that such systems in the hands of a terror group could bring both the Haifa and the Ashdod ports to a halt.
"Hezbollah and Syria
are continually fortifying, and once a week a Russian ship unloads weapons in Syrian ports," an official with the Navy said.
A Wall Street Journal report on Friday stated that US officials believe members of Hezbollah are smuggling the missile systems piece by piece to evade a secretive Israeli air campaign designed to stop them.
According to US intelligence, as many as 12 anti-ship guided-missile systems may now be in Hezbollah's possession inside Syria, the WSJ noted. Officials said that Syrian forces have been destroying equipment to mislead Israel
into thinking it has managed to strike down weapons in Syria in its airstrikes.
has yet to develop a missile defense system that can intercept the Russian advanced missile, which maintains low altitude flight paths for hundreds of kilometers. The missile is therefore hard to detect in radars.
Defense sources estimated that Hezbollah has managed to smuggle into Lebanon
parts of the Yakhont, though is has insufficient components to make the systems operational.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon
stressed the missile system was a "red line" as far as weapon transfer from Syria to Lebanon is concerned.
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