Hezbollah: Syria supplying militia with weapons

By Bassem Mroue

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, May 9 2013 8:48 p.m. MDT

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah speaks via video during a conference, held in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday May, 9, 2013. Nasrallah said Syria will supply `game-changing' weapons to the Lebanese militant group. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Associated Press

BEIRUT — Syria will supply "game-changing" weapons to Hezbollah, the chief of the Lebanese militant group said Thursday, less than a week after Israeli airstrikes on Damascus targeted alleged shipments of advanced Iranian missiles bound for Hezbollah.

Israel has signaled it will respond with airstrikes to any future weapons shipments, meaning it could quickly get drawn into Syria's civil war if the Hezbollah chief's declaration is more than an empty threat

Tension has been rising in the region since Israel struck targets inside Syria on Friday and Sunday. Hezbollah and Israel fought several battles in the past three decades, including a 34-day war in 2006 that left some 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis dead.

Israel has largely tried to stay out of Syria's 26-month-old conflict. It never acknowledged the airstrikes, but Israeli officials have signaled Israel's air force would strike against any shipments of strategic missiles that might be bound for Hezbollah.

Israeli officials say the Lebanese militant group has tens of thousands of rockets, though most of them are unguided.

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