Back in April reports surfaced that Syria was shipping long-range Scud missiles to Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon.Lebanon’s prime minister, Sa’ad Hariri, denied the presence of the weapons on Lebanese territory. Israel issued warnings. UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, denied that any such weapons were in the territory in patrols. The story seemed to fade.
But Aviation Week, one of the most authoritative sources of information on military affairs, reports in its August 9 issue, citing Israeli analysts, that some Scuds are in fact now “in depots in Lebanon.” The same article also sums up the overall missile and rocket picture in some detail:
In Lebanon are 3,000-4,000 medium-range rockets that can fire from both north and south of the Litani River, say Israeli analysts. Additional hundreds of long-range rockets can fire from deep in Lebanon to deep into Israel. Depots of missiles are now located in the Bekaa Valley and south of the Litani with a strategic reserve stashed in Beirut.
Here is Hillary Clinton speaking to the American Jewish Committee about Syrian missile shipments on April 29:
We have spoken out forcefully about the grave dangers of Syria's transfer of weapons to Hezbollah. We condemn this in the strongest possible terms and have expressed our concerns directly to the Syrian Government. Transferring weapons to these terrorists – especially longer-range missiles – would pose a serious threat to the security of Israel. It would have a profoundly destabilizing effect on the region. And it would absolutely violate UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which bans the unauthorized importation of any weapons into Lebanon.
If Hezbollah does indeed now possess Scuds shipped from Syria, does Clinton’s warning about “grave dangers” mean anything for American policy, or is it just mere words?