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Hezbollah: Syria supplying militia with weapons

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) 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.

In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a man reads a statement as four abducted Filipino UN peacekeepers are seen in Daraa, Syria, on Thursday, May 9, 2013. Tensions remained high on the Israeli-Syrian border on Thursday morning, two days after a Syrian rebel group abducted four UN peacekeepers. The abduction was the second such incident in the area in two months. The UN said the Filipino peacekeepers were detained on Tuesday while on patrol on the Golan Heights, a volatile Israeli-occupied area that separates Syria and Israel. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video) (Associated Press) In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a man reads a statement as four abducted Filipino UN peacekeepers are seen in Daraa, Syria, on Thursday, May 9, 2013. Tensions remained high on the Israeli-Syrian border on Thursday morning, two days after a Syrian rebel group abducted four UN peacekeepers. The abduction was the second such incident in the area in two months. The UN said the Filipino peacekeepers were detained on Tuesday while on patrol on the Golan Heights, a volatile Israeli-occupied area that separates Syria and Israel. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video) (Associated Press)

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

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