Iran Exploits Earthquake Relief Mission to Fly Weapons to Syria

(Reuters) Suleiman Al-Khalidi - Iran has used earthquake relief flights to bring weapons and military equipment into Syria, nine Syrian, Iranian, Israeli and Western sources said. After the Feb. 6 earthquake in northern Syria and Turkey, hundreds of flights from Iran began landing in Aleppo, Damascus and Latakia bringing supplies, and this went on for seven weeks. The supplies included advanced communications equipment and radar batteries and spare parts required for an upgrade of Syria's Iran-provided air defense system. Israel quickly became aware of the flow of weapons into Syria and mounted an aggressive campaign to counter it. Brig.-Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, a former head of research in the Israel army as well as ex-director-general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, said Israeli air strikes against the shipments relied on intelligence so specific that Israel's military knew which truck in a long convoy to target. Syrian military defector Col. Abduljabbar Akaidi said, "Israel's strikes also targeted a meeting of commanders of Iranian militias and shipments of electronic chips to upgrade weapons systems." A Syrian army officer said the Israelis were stepping up efforts to defeat Iran in Syria. "Why now? Simply because they have information that something is being developed quickly. They must stop it and hit it to slow it. The quake created the right conditions. The chaos that ensued allowed Iranian jets to land with ease."

2023-04-13 00:00:00

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