Washington has accused Tehran and Damascus of arming Hizbullah with sophisticated missiles and warned that the Shiite fighters now have more rockets than most governments. "We are at a point now where Hizbullah has far more rockets and missiles than most governments in the world," Gates said following talks at the Pentagon with his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak. "This is obviously destabilizing for the whole region."
In response, Speaker Nabih Berri said the Pentagon allegations were used as a "cover up for the complexities of U.S. relations with Israel." "People are now busy with municipal elections, and post-elections are more important than issues at internal and regional levels," Berri told the daily An-Nahar in comments published Wednesday.
Gates accused Iran and Syria of supplying weapons of "ever-increasing capability" to Hizbullah, but stopped short of identifying Hizbullah's missiles.