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Monday, July 25, 2016

Russian arms for Hizballah cross Israel’s red line

Russian Forpost UAV asrd on Israel's Searcher drone
President Vladimir Putin turns aside all Israel’s complaints about Russian arms supplies to Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hizballah, whenever he talks to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – roughly every week-to-ten days. The issue is also raised without results by Israeli officials on trips to Moscow, including the visit by Yossi Cohen, Director of the Mossad, to the Russian capital on July 1.


Nonetheless, Netanyahu persisted in complaining again about the Russian arms reaching the Lebanese terrorist group in his latest phone conversation with Putin on Saturday, July 23. He made the call, DEBKAfile military sources say, primarily to raise another topic at issue, the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) flights from Syria into Israeli airspace on July 17.


After their conversation, the Kremlin issued a bland statement saying that the two leaders discussed issues related to the war on terrorism, and that both agreed to continue the ties between the countries at “various levels.”


Our military sources report that the conviction gaining ground now among IDF intelligence (AMAN) and Air Force chiefs is that the drone was not Iranian or Hizballah’s but Russian. They take a grave view of the episode - especially when the unmanned aircraft, which hovered for some hours over the Golan and northern Israel, appears to have been a “Searcher,” the reconnaissance drone developed by Israel and manufactured by Russia as “Forpost” under Israeli license.


Moscow is making use of the sophisticated Forpost UAV for surveillance and intelligence-gathering in Syria, Ukraine and terrorist targets in the Caucasian mountains.READ MORE