Is Russia arming Hezbollah?

Russia could be effectively arming Hezbollah as it presses ahead with a major arms deal to Syria further provoking Israel.  Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said that “the contract is in progress.” Serdyukov added that Russia was also bent on carrying through on promises to deliver several Bastion anti-ship missile systems to Syria.

The deal to sell Syria 72 cruise missiles and anti ship missiles worth at least $300 million follows a  $1bn defence deal between the two last May when Russia sold Syria MIG fighters.

The fear is, of course, that these new Russian missiles will end up in the hands of Hezbollah, which would have a weapon capable of hitting ships 300 kilometers off the Syrian coast. Hezbolla has used similar, but less effective, weapons before. In the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War Hezbollah used a surface to air missile to hit the INS Hanit warship, killing four sailors.