Teheran has armed Syria with a sophisticated radar system that could damage Israel’s ability to launch a surprise attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. So reports the Wall Street Journal from Israeli and American officials, and with the confirmation of the IDF. The system is capable of detecting the take off of fighter planes and aid Hizballah, if Syria shares information with the terrorist organization.
The system could improve Hizballah’s weapons accuracy and strengthen their defense systems against attacks from the air. Damascus has its own interests in having the system, after a Syrian military compound was attacked in 2007, which, according to Israel, was being used as a nuclear facility.
Iran and Syria have denied the transfer of the radar system, which according to Israeli and American officials was done in mid 2009. According to the Wall Street Journal, the IDF confirmed the report, which was also detailed by another western intelligence body. The officials did not say who in Syria the system was transferred to, but they described the move as another part of the dramatic rise in weapons transfers and coordination between the Iranian and Syrian armies and Hizballah.Against the United Nations Resolution
The transfer of the radar system goes against a 2007 UN Security Council resolution that forbids Iran from selling or transferring weapons or similar equipment.Even though the transfer happened a year ago, Israel and the United States did not publish the report. The newspaper quotes commentators who claim that Teheran is trying to raise tensions on Israel’s northern border, but Jerusalem is trying to prevent this and therefore didn’t report on the existence of the system. Officials in the US are worried that renewed fighting on the Israel’s northern border could drag Syria into the conflict.
The IDF issued a response to the Journal: “Iran is acting to develop Syrian intelligence and its air surveillance capabilities. Iranian representatives are in Syria for this purpose. Assistance with the radar system is only one expression of this sort of cooperation.”