Report: Chemical Weapons in Hezbollah Arms Cache Blast

Kuwaiti newspaper says Iran sent Hezbollah chemical weapons, gas masks via Syrian airports.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Hezbollah was keeping chemical weapons in the arms stockpile which exploded more than a month ago in southern Lebanon, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa reported on Thursday.

European sources quoted in the article also said that three out of the eight Hezbollah operatives who were killed in the blast died after coming in contact with the chemicals.

According to Al-Siyasa, the Lebanese militant organization attempted to keep Lebanese Army personnel as well as UNIFIL forces away from the blast site in order to cover up any evidence.

The Kuwaiti paper, known for its staunch opposition to Hezbollah, said the militant organization had been stockpiling chemical weapons in Baalbek as well as north and south of the Litani River as of December 2008.

The article also stated that Iran had recently sent new kinds of chemical weapons, as well as thousands of gas masks providing protection from chemical and biological weapons via Syrian airports.

The militant organization also reportedly received a system capable of warning against substances used in weapons of mass destruction as part of its Iran supply.

Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, prohibits Hezbollah from engaging in military activities in south Lebanon and forbids weapon smuggling to the group.

After the July 14 explosion in an abandoned building in Khirbet Silim, about 9 miles from the Israeli border, Israel accused Iran and Syria of violating those conditions by sending weapons to Hezbollah.

Deputy Hezbollah leader Sheik Naim Kassem had commented on Israeli accusations, saying there was "no violation of Resolution 1701."

"What happened ... is a normal incident that has to do with leftover shells that had been collected during and after Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000," Kassem added.

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