Dinner in Damascus: What Did Iran Ask of Hizbullah?

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) David Schenker and Matthew Levitt - On Feb. 26, just a week after the U.S. dispatched Undersecretary of State William Burns to Damascus and nominated its first new ambassador in five years, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah for a dinner in Damascus. During its most recent massive military buildup since the 2006 war with Israel, Hizbullah has procured an estimated 40,000 rockets and - with Syria's help - reportedly improved the quality of its arsenal. Syria may have provided the Russian-made shoulder-fired Igla antiaircraft system, which is capable of downing Israeli F-16s.

2010-03-03 07:57:19

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