Reporter granted access into Israeli air force base; officer warns: arms transfer to Hezbollah may spark war
A Lebanese television crew was granted rare access into an Israeli air force base to pass on the message that Israel is closely watching Hezbollah to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons from Syria into its hands.
In a first of its kind specal report that aired on Wedensday, a reporter from Lebanon’s LBC spoke to a Ramat David Air Force Base sqadron commander and Captain Avihai Aderi, head of Arab media at the IDF spokesperson’s office, who made sure to convey the message that such transfers could be cause for Israel to launch attacks against Southern Lebanon.
« The IDF understands that the arrival of such strategic arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon will be what sparks the next war, » said the sqadron commander.
« We are closely following attempts to smuggle arms from Syria to Lebanon and attempting to prevent it from reaching Hezbollah, » said the senior air force officer whose identity was hidden behind his helmet and visor as is customary when interviewing pilots. « Hezbollah has begun receiving the type of weapons that are superior to those of independent neighboring countries and we must be ready to meet such a challenge. »
« Hezbollah has turned 200 villages in southern Lebanon into munitions caches, using them to threaten the Israeli home front. The IDF cannot let Hezbollah to harm Israelis so easily, » said Aderi, hinting that the army knew of the caches’ location and would likely strike them if war broke out.
Israel has long accused Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations of using civilians as human shields, firing rockets from populated areas. Israel has not hesitated to strike such targets in the past, despite occasional international condemnations, arguing that they were legitimate military targets.
In at least three occasions earlier this year, Israel reportedly attacked weapons convoys and caches in Syria in an apparent effort to prevent them from reaching Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Though Israel never confirmed the reports, US officials did.