Israeli Army believes Hezbollah has obtained SA-8 Russian air defence missile from Syria 2501123


Defense News - Lebanon

Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 12:15 AM
Israeli Army believes that Hezbollah has obtained SA-8 Russian made air defence missile from Syria
Hezbollah and Iran are preparing for the “day after” Syria’s downfall with plans for how to continue supporting the Lebanon-based guerrilla group in the event that President Bashar Assad’s regime is toppled. Laste week, the Jerusalem Post revealed that Syria had recently transferred dozens of additional long-range missiles to Hezbollah as well as additional 302 mm rockets.

The Israeli Army (IDF Israeli Defence Forces) also believes Hezbollah has obtained SA-8 Russian-made advanced surface-to-air missile systems from Syria.

The SA-8 Gecko NATO code name (Russian name 9K33 OSA) is a russian made highly mobile, low-altitude, short-range tactical surface-to-air missile system. The SA-8 Gecko is intended for defence on troops on the march and in mobile combat, as well as of strategic ground facilities against air strikes delivered by manned or unmanned air vehicles flying at low and medium altitudes. SA-8 Gecko is armed with 6 missiles ready to fire, mounted on the roff of the vehicle.

“The assessment that Hezbollah will be severely impacted by Syria’s downfall is unlikely since it will be able to fill the vacuum with assistance directly from Iran,” a senior Israeli defense official explained.

According to Military Intelligence, Hezbollah is currently providing assistance to Assad in the form of weapons, instructors and actual fighters who are assisting the Syrian military in its efforts to quell the resistance.

Iran is already believed to be working on establishing new routes to smuggle weapons to Lebanon. In recent years, for example, Iran has tried transporting weaponry to Lebanon via aircraft that lands in Beirut International Airport, ships that dock in Syria and then transfer their cargo by land to Lebanon and even by train via Turkey.