Turkey helps foil transfer of arms from Iran to Lebanon: report

Turkish authorities have managed to prevent several Iranian and Syrian aircraft from flying into Lebanon to transfer weapons to Hezbollah, the Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.

According to the report, Israeli and the U.S. intelligence agencies warned Turkish authorities last Friday that several Lebanon-bound Iranian planes, loaded with arms meant for the Hezbollah, were making their way over Turkish airspace.

Shortly after Turkey was tipped off, Iranian officials ordered the planes to return to their point of departure, where the arms were allegedly removed from the planes.

The planes then took off again and were forced to land in Turkey for inspection by airport authorities. Turkish aviation officials told the daily that no weapons were found on the planes.

Since the war between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah erupted on July 12, Turkey had intercepted several Iranian and Syrian Lebanon- bound ships in the Eastern Mediterranean sea, as well as two transit trucks from Syria, the daily said.

Meanwhile, the London-based Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al- Awsat reported on Monday that large amounts of rockets have been transferred from Iran to Syria en route to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran's Revolutionary Guard formed an emergency committee on logistics in Damascus, which will be responsible for supplying Hezbollah's military needs.

Iran and Syria have denied any military support for Hezbollah.

The 34-day-long Israel-Hezbollah conflict in southern Lebanon ended last Monday under a UN ceasefire resolution, which authorizes an increase of the existing UN force in Lebanon to 15, 000 troops to help Lebanon take control of south Lebanon while Israel withdraws in parallel.

Source: Xinhua



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