Photo: AP
Hizbullah fighter. Learning from SLA?
Photo: AP

Report: Former SLA officers aiding Hizbullah

Hizbullah recruiting former members of the South Lebanese Army to exploit the skills they acquired working side by side with IDF – to train forces and track Israeli media, Arab Israeli newspaper a-Sinara reports

Former senior officers from the South Lebanese Army are training Hizbullah forces in the west Lebanon valley, reported the Nazareth-based Arab-Israeli newspaper a-Sinara Wednesday.


The SLA was a Lebanese militia during that country's civil war, which was supported by Israel during the south Lebanon conflict in 1982-2000. Many former SLA officers took refuge in Israel and were aided by the Israeli government.


According to the report, Hizbullah decided to seek help from the former SLA officers who remained in south Lebanon when the Israeli army left the country in 2000. The officers were reportedly forced to pay Hizbullah compensation in return for clemency, and now thanks to the experience they accumulated fighting side-by-side with the IDF, Hizbullah has apparently decided to take advantage of their acquired skills.


A-Sinara's website reported that Hizbullah posted the former SLA officers at a number of civilian facilities in southern Lebanese villages. The terror group has also employed officers to track and translate Israeli media, the report said.


Additionally, Hizbullah was exploiting their skills to examine the documents and equipment the IDF left behind in Lebanon at the end of last summer's Second Lebanon War


'Wouldn't be surprised'

A former SLA official told Ynet, "Up until now, we haven't seen any such reports, but we wouldn't be surprised if they were true. However, it's hard to believe that even if there are elements working for Hizbullah, that they are enthusiastic supporters of the organization."


"You have to remember that their lives aren't easy at all. Almost no one wants to employ them, and in most cases they are refused passports to prevent them from leaving Lebanon. Therefore, it seems that if there really are those (helping Hizbullah) – they're doing it to make a living and no more," he said.


Sources in Lebanon told Ynet that they had also heard of the new "arrangement", but said that if it was true, it was likely only a small number of people.


The sources also noted that they had never heard of such an arrangement by which SLA members were forced to pay a fine in return for their freedom.


פרסום ראשון: 10.10.07, 21:50
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