Sources: Hizbullah, al Baath members involved in arms smuggling to Syrian rebels

Published January 11th, 2012 - 03:36 GMT

Lebanese security sources have confirmed that "dozens of members of Shiite Hizbullah and Amal movement are involved in smuggling arms across the Syrian border to the rebels." These elements buy the weapons in Lebanon and Libya and smuggle it to the "Free Syrian Army", mainly to Damascus countryside and Homs.

The sources pointed out that "the leaders of Hizbullah in the southern suburbs of Beirut and the Bekaa, arrested a number of these cadres and seized some of the arms shipments." According to the sources, the smugglers use the same illegal border crossings used by Hizbullah for the past 10 years to smuggle Iranian arms for the Syrian regime

The sources noted that officers of the regime's Syrian army have been facilitating the entry of the smuggled arms to the rebels in return from money deducted from the profits generated by the Hizbullah smugglers.

Lebanese security sources revealed also that "military units loyal to the Syrian government killed over the recent period a number of smugglers trying to deliver arms to the rebels in the town of Zabadani, close to the Syrian Lebanese border. In one case near Lebanon's northern border, a number of Hizbullah members including a truck loaded with weapons were seized. In addition, Syrian forces arrested several Syrian officers, including one in the rank of colonel, who were involved in the operation.

In a related development, a former member in Amal movement conveyed that "there are senior political figures in the Syrian ruling Baath Party who are involved in the arms smuggling to the rebels. The main sources of these illegal weapons are Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey. Senior bankers, businessmen and traders contribute to financing the purchase of weapons and smuggling into Syria. They choose to make this in order to secure their future in the event of the success of the revolution and the downfall of the (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad. "

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