London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted a senior Iranian army official as saying that The Islamic republic’s Revolutionary Guard set up dozens of advanced rocket and missile bases in the Lebanon Valley and along the border with Israel.
Between 1992 and 2005 Hizbullah received some 11,500 missiles and rockets, 400 short and mid-range artillery shells as well as rocket launchers.
According to the report, Iran transferred some 40 different types of missiles and rockets to Hizbullah over the years.
In 2005, for instance, Hizbullah received the first shipment of huge 333 millimeter rocket launchers, as well as large quantities of ant-aircraft SAM-7 shoulder missiles and C-802 missiles, originally manufactured in China. The C-802 was used in the recent attack on the Israeli Navy ship off the Lebanon coast.
The official also said Hizbullah is in possession of four types of advanced ground-to-ground missiles: Fajr missiles with a range of 100 kilometers, Iran 130 missiles with a range of 90-110 kilometers, Shahin missiles with a range of up to 150 kilometers and a 355 millimeter rockets with a 150 kilometer range.
The official said Hizbullah will use the advanced weapons to strike deep in the heart of Israel should the attacks in Lebanon continue.
In Israel, an intelligence official said Saturday that elite Iranian troops helped Hizbullah fire a sophisticated radar-guided missile at the Israeli warship. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said 100 fighters from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard were in Lebanon.
Initially, it was believed an unmanned drone laden with explosives had hit the Israeli warship, but it later became clear that Hizbullah had used an Iranian-made, radar-guided C-802 missile.
“We can confirm that it (the ship) was hit by an Iranian-made missile launched by Hizbullah. We see this as a very profound fingerprint of Iranian involvement in Hizbullah,” Israeli Brig. Gen. Ido Nehushtan told The Associated Press.
Associated Press contributed to the report