Currently viewing the tag: "weapons"

Back in July, Israel came out with maps and videos describing pinpointing Hezbollah weapon caches located near schools and hospitals.

A few days later, Hezbollah tried to come back with their own list of targets in Israel.

Now, Israel has come out with an even more extensive map of the location of  950 Hezbollah sites-showing the location of bunkers, monitor sites and other facilities located within civilian village-all in violation of UN Resolution 1701 as well as international law.

According to a statement put out by the IDF Spokesperson:

Hizbullah located in 1,000 facilities in southern Lebanon

Since the Second Lebanon War Hizbullah has strengthened both in munitions and number of operatives with tens of thousands of weapons stored in civilian villages throughout southern Lebanon, this is direct violation of UN Resolution 1701

The Hizbullah terrorist organization is spread out between as many as 1,000 facilities in southern Lebanon, located in 270 civilian villages. The organization continues to acquire munitions and strengthen, funded by Syria which is also smuggling weapons to it. This includes weapons which can reach populations in the center of Israel in cities like Tel Aviv.

According to IDF intelligence, since the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hizbullah has built as many as 550 bunkers in the southern Lebanon region, holding various weapons. In addition, the organization has built 300 underground facilities and 100 storage units for munitions including rockets, missiles and other weapons.

Many of these terror centers are located near hospitals, private homes and schools, Hizbullah’s way of taking advantage of the civilian population of Lebanon. According to the IDF Northern Command, Hizbullah militants have doubled in number since the end of the last war.

Today, Hizbullah is estimated to have an arsenal of more than 40,000 rockets. This being the case, if war breaks out, Hizbullah will be able to launch between 500 and 600 rockets at Israel every day. One of the organization’s main civilian centers for storing munitions is the village of Al Khiyam in southern Lebanon, where hundreds of rockets and mortar shells with varying ranges are stored. 

More than 100 Hizbullah militants operate in the village, including special forces ready for combat with IDF soldiers. 

Hizbullah is thus trying to distort the balance of power in Lebanon and return to full, routine militant activity in southeast Lebanon, similar to its activity levels just prior to the war in 2006. Hizbullah militant activities are based in southern Lebanon, funded and maintained by Syria and Iran. All of these are in direct violation to the UN Security Council’s 1701 decision, carried out on August 12th, 2006, at the end of the Second Lebanon War.

Ideally, revealing this to the UN would have an effect-but don’t count on it.

At the very least the statement, like the presentation back in July, will let Hezbollah that Israel is well aware of what they are up to, and give Hezbollah something to think about.

Technorati Tag: and .


Daled Amos

Tagged with:
 

On Monday, more than 100 people were killed, and dozens injured, from an explosion in a weapons factory in Abyan province in Yemen, according to CNN.

Yemen (CS Monitor)Yemen (CS Monitor)

There is a bizarre story behind this explosion.

On Sunday, around 30 hooded gunmen stormed that weapons factory, as well as some other sites in the region, according to VOA. They drove off in four vehicles with cases of weapons.

On Monday, local residents were ransacking and looting the factory. It’s believed that one of them lit a cigarette, triggering the explosion.

The explosion has become part of the politics of the “Arab Revolution” that’s occurring in Sanaa, the country’s capital. For almost two months, tens of thousands of demonstrators have been protesting to demand that President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down, after 38 years in power.

The outcome of this uprising is crucially important for the United States, since Saleh is a close ally in fighting the war on terror, especially since Yemen became the headquarters for al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in 2009.

In a remarkable change in assessment last year, CIA analysts now see AQAP as a greater threat to US security than the core al-Qaeda group in Pakistan and Afghanistan. (See “27-Aug-10 News — U.S. considering escalating military role in Yemen”) The fear is that if Saleh steps down, then he may be replaced by someone more sympathetic to al-Qaeda. Even worse, the country may descend into a civil war that permits an al-Qaeda takeover.

Opposition leaders have been accusing Saleh of playing the “al-Qaeda card,” according to News Yemen, by using the possible rise of al-Qaeda as a means of discrediting the opposition.

Thus, here have accusations and counter-accusations regarding the weapons factory. Abyan province is the biggest stronghold of AQAP, and the pro-Saleh side is saying that the gunmen were al-Qaeda militants who will perpetrate more crimes of this type, if Saleh is forced to step down and the country becomes more unstable.

The anti-Saleh side is hinting that the Saleh government pulled back its security forces from the weapons factory on purpose, in order to create a crisis that would benefit Saleh. Whether the gunmen were al-Qaeda militants or “ordinary” militants is also called into question.

Whatever the truth about the militants, the subsequent explosion was not anticipated by anyone.

One doctor quoted by the Associated Press says, “This accident is a true catastrophe, the first of its kind. There are so many burned bodies. I can’t even describe the situation.”

A “catastrophe” of this kind is certain to have an effect on the growing political instability of Yemen. But it remains to be seen which side will benefit, as the truth comes out about the weapons factory.

Big Peace

Tagged with:
 

From YNet:

Weapons were found on an Iranian cargo plane forced to land in southeast Turkey on Saturday, Turkish media reported Tuesday.

According to reports, the arms plane left Tehran with military ammunition for Syria. Several crates containing weapons and ammunition were removed from the aircraft.

Turkish media reported that the plane was forced to land in a military airfield at the United Nations’ request following information indicating it was carrying nuclear materials. It was further reported that rocket launchers, mortars, rifles and explosive materials were found in one of the main cabinets on the plane.

(h/t Challah Hu Akbar)



Elder of Ziyon

Tagged with:
 

General Alexander Postnikov,  who is commander of the Russian ground forces,  announced in Pravda that Russia weapons are inferior to both US weapons and those made by China.  ”The combat vehicle arsenal, artillery systems and small arms produced by the domestic defense industry fall behind NATO and even Chinese arms,”  he said.

He said the Russian T-90 tank was awful,  and was “a 17th modification of the Soviet T-72 tank produced since 1973.”  He would rather purchase German Leopard tanks from Germany,  Postnikov said.

This won’t go down well with the Kremlin.  More than 80 countries around the world buy Russian arms,  noted Pravda.  Not what you would call a great endorsement.

Big Peace

Tagged with:
 

Big Peace

Tagged with:
 

March 15th in the open waters of the Mediterranean Sea - an innocent looking commercial ship flying a Liberian flag is stopped by the Israel navy. The operation was approved by PM Netanyahu taking into account confirmed reports that the vessel was carrying illicit arms destined for terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip.

Nothing in the freight manifest of the Victoria revealed the true nature of the content of the ship’s containers. The crew had no idea they were carrying illegal weapons intended for terrorists and were quite surprised when a preliminary search by the boarding party, found significant amounts of arms and military equipment.

Weapons victoria 1.jpg Weapons victoria 2.jpg
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

In addition to weapons, soldiers who boarded the “Victoria” also found a radar used to detect ships prior to the launching of missiles from the coast.

There is no doubt these weapons would have been used by Hamas against Israeli civilians. This attempt at smuggling large amounts of weaponry aboard the Victoria provides additional proof of Israel’s imperative need to examine all goods entering the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Iran has been creative in its attempts to transfer weapons to it’s allies in the region over the last 10 years. Weapons were transferred on board ships like Karine A (carried 50 tons of weapons), aerial convoys and trains. Weapons are often concealed as humanitarian aid. After the earthquake in southern Iran in January 2004, the world was sending in help to Iran. In return, Iran disguised aerial convoys as humanitarian aid and tried to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah. A few years after that an Iranian train carrying arms (mortar shells, light arms, rocket launchers and ammunition) was uncovered in Turkey. The arms were destined for Hezbollah. Again , the Iranians attempted to conceal and disguise the arms in order to avoid suspicion by the Turkish authorities.

The illegal smuggling of arms to the Gaza Strip poses a direct and imminent threat to the safety and security of Israel and its citizens. As Hamas keeps firing rockets from Gaza, Iran will do whatever it can to keep the weapon route alive. All of us in Giyus.org hope for peace but as long as terrorists control Gaza, Israel must maintain its naval blockade and ensure weapons will not reach their hands.

Big Peace

Tagged with:
 

The Muqata has a summary of a Special IDF press conference for bloggers just half an hour ago that the IDF intercepted the Victoria bound from Gaza to Syria and found weapons originating from Iran.

According to Muqata’s summary:

Early this morning IDF Naval Commandos from boarded a cargo ship, “Victoria” — a German owned ship, operating by a French Company, flying under a Liberian flag. We had advance intelligence information that this vessel was carrying weapons.

We boarded the ship and the crew complied without any violence. A preliminary search revealed weapons in shipping containers. The Israeli navy is now escorting the boat to Israel where a further, detailed examination of the cargo and the ship will take place.

The ship originated from the Syrian port of Latkia, and also docked in Turkey’s Mersin Port on its way to Alexandria in Egypt. The IDF believes the weapons found on board were destined for Hamas in Gaza.

The ship’s crew apparently had no idea there were weapons in the shipping containers, and the IDF doesn’t believe that Egypt or Turkey were connected.

The current operating analysis is that Syria and Iran are the major actors, cooperating to send weapons to Hamas.

It has not yet been revealed what kinds of weapons were found on the ship.

Israel Matzav was at the conference also, and suggests a possible connection between the weapons and the Iranian ships that recently passed through the Suez Canal:

Lt. Col. Leibovich did not know whether the weapons were connected to the Iranian warships that passed through the Suez Canal three weeks ago. But given that those ships sailed to Latakia - and then went right back through the Canal - this is a distinct possibility.

More details will be forthcoming.

Anyone who recalls the incident of the Karin A, knows that this is not the first attempt to smuggle weapons to terrorists. In addition to the Karine A, there have been a number of previous instances-including incidents involving the Santorini, Abu Hassan, the Hansa India, the Monchegorsk, the Francop and Everest cargo vessels. These were involved in what were otherwise innocent transnational commercial shipping which was abused by States that sponsor terrorism, including Iran, Syria and Lebanon, all done in order to facilitate the illegal trafficking of arms to terrorist organizations in the region. Check out: Israel’s interception of arms ships - Background

If nothing else, today’s incident demonstrates the necessity for Israel’s legal blockade of Gaza, to prevent weapons being delivered to the Hamas terrorist group.

UPDATE: Here are some photos of what the IDF found aboard the Victoria:

Technorati Tag: and and and and .


Daled Amos

Tagged with:
 

From the IDF:

Below is a preliminary list of weaponry and weaponry systems discovered and unloaded this morning at the Ashdod Port hidden in the cargo of the “Victoria” vessel.
  • 230 mortar shells, 120 mm
  • 2,270 mortar shells, 60 mm
  • 6 C-704 anti-ship missiles
  • 2 radar systems manufactured in England
  • 2 launchers
  • 2 hydraulic mounting cranes for radar system
  • 66,960  bullets for the Kalashnikov, 7.62 millimeter
It is important to note that the C-704 shore-to-sea missiles have a range of 35 kilometers and according to assessments, their intended destination to the Gaza Strip would have constituted a significant gain in the weapons capabilities of terror organizations operating there.

The identification document for the anti-ship missiles was in Persian and contained emblems of the Iranian government throughout. In addition, the ship left from the Syrian port of Lattakia before stopping in Turkey to make its way to Egypt. To the IDF’s understanding,  Egypt and Turkey had no prior knowledge of the weaponry.

This incident further demonstrates Iranian and Syrian involvement in strengthening and arming terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere.

It is notable that the Iranian ships that went through the Suez Canal last month docked at the same Syrian port. Here’s how Iran’s PressTV described it:

Two Iranian ships, Khark and Alvand, docked at Syria’s Lattakia Port following their passage through the Suez Canal, a strategic international shipping route in Egypt, for the first time since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979.

The 1,500-ton patrol frigate Alvand is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, while the larger 33,000-ton supply vessel Khark has 250 crewmembers and can carry three helicopters.

Tehran has announced that the two Iranian warships in Lattakia are “on a routine and friendly visit and carry the message of peace and friendship to world countries.”

On Friday, Sayyari signed a navy cooperation deal with his Syrian counterpart General Taleb al-Barri aboard Iranian vessel Khark.

Syrian navy officials toured the two Iranian ships on the same day.

Are the 50 tons of weapons on the Victoria part of the “message of peace and friendship” that was carried by the Khark?



Elder of Ziyon

Tagged with:
 

It is nice to know that Egypt seems to still be adhering to its security policies:

Egyptian security officials said Tuesday that Egypt’s armed forces have seized five vehicles carrying weapons into the country from Sudan, apparently headed for Gaza.

The officials say the vehicles were intercepted inside Egypt Sunday near the border with Sudan, following a shootout during which the truck drivers fled. They said the trucks were carrying large quantities of mortars, rocket propelled grenades, rifles and explosives.

They said they were headed to Hamas-ruled Gaza through smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border.

The officials spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity under government regulations.

Israeli intelligence officials say Sudan is a major route for Hamas weapons.



Elder of Ziyon

Tagged with:
 

From the IDF Spokesperson’s office:



Elder of Ziyon

Tagged with:
 

Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, Head of the Foreign Press Branch, had a bloggers conference call at around 7:30 EST  this morning and confirmed early Tuesday morning (Israel Time), IDF fighters boarded the cargo ship Victoria at sea, then 200 miles out from Israel. (Pictures below are from the seizure).

The Victoria is a German-owned vessel, operated by a French operating company, and flying the Liberian flag. Although Lt. Col. Leibovich did not say which IDF units were involved, YNET is reporting that Shayetet 13, the Naval commando unit executed this raid. Shayetet 13 is the commando unit that was involved in the Mavi Marmara raid last year (AKA the Guerilla Floatilla),

The boarding was based upon confirmed reports that the vessel was carrying illicit arms destined for terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. The ship was off the coast of Israel, in the open waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The ship had sailed Monday night from the Syrian port of Lattakai bound for Turkey. There, it was supposed to unload the weapons, which would be conveyed by land to Gaza. Lattakai is the same port where two Iranian war ships docked in February after traversing the Suez Canal. At the time, IDF officials raised concerns of the possibility that they were carrying weapons intended for terrorists organizations, but there was no confirmation.

“The operation was approved as necessary in accordance with government directives in light of Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz’s recommendations,” an IDF statement read. Gantz updated Defense Minister Ehud Barak about the findings on-board the vessel Tuesday morning. “The IDF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs alerted German authorities about the interception of the “Victoria” due to the German ownership of the ship,” the statement said.

In addition, the government of Liberia, whose flag it was flying under, was notified, as well as France, due to the French shipping company. The Israeli Navy has conducted numerous operations over the years against Iranian smuggling to Hamas and Hezbollah.

The IDF believes that that neither Egypt nor Turkey has any connection to the ship’s cargo. The evidence it has indicates that Syria and Iran were the main actors.

The IDF will not say yet what types of weapons they found on the ship. But the type of weapons is not important . According to Lt. Col. Leibovich, the most important fact here is that the IDF can draw direct line from Syria to the attempt to smuggle weapons into Gaza. The weapons are Iranian.

Lt. Col. Leibovich did not know whether the weapons were connected to the Iranian warships that passed through the Suez Canal three weeks ago. But this is a distinct possibility.

Lt. Col. Leibovich did not know whether the crew knew what they were carrying. But, it should be noted that nothing in the freight manifest of the Victoria revealed the true nature of the content of the ship’s containers, in violation of the relevant provisions of the International Maritime Organization’s Conventions and professional standards, including the Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Cod

The IDF did not notify anyone in advance that it was going to board the ship. The IDF informed the Germans, the French, the Liberians and the Americans only after it had opened the three containers mentioned above. Intriguingly, Lt. Col. Leibovich did not answer when asked whether the Germans and French knew what was on the ships when they were contacted.

This raises some concerns for the world community. The need to prevent arms smuggling: This attempt at smuggling large amounts of weaponry aboard the Victoria provides additional proof of Israel’s imperative need to examine all goods entering the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Israel cannot allow weapons and military equipment to reach the hands of terrorists, who will use them against its civilian population. If the world community doesn’t want to act, Israel will.

Syria and Iran will complain, but the key is that Israel acted in self-defense: The illegal smuggling of arms to the Gaza Strip poses a direct and imminent threat to the safety and security of the State of Israel and its citizens, who continue to find themselves under the unceasing attack of rocket and mortar fire originating from Gaza.

This is more evidence of Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism. Preliminary evidence indicates that the weapons aboard the ship originated in Iran, which strives to arm the Gaza Strip. Under Hamas rule, the Gaza Strip has become part of the Iranian-Syrian-Hamas axis.  Keep in mind that smuggling arms to terrorists is illegal: Such transfer of weaponry to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip constitutes a blatant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1860(2009), which calls upon Member States to intensify efforts to “prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition” to the Gaza Strip (para. 6), as well as a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1373(2001), which, inter alia, calls upon all States to refrain from the provision of any form of support to terrorist organizations and to eliminate the supply of weapons to such groups. Israel will proabably try and get a UN Resolution about this violation which has very little chance of passing the anti-Israel UN Security Council.

There is more information coming out…we will update you as it comes.




YID With LID

Tagged with:
 

Watch for the international outcry that ensues whenever Israel acts in its own defense. “Israel seizes ship with Iran arms for Gaza: Netanyahu,” by Jeffrey Heller for Reuters, March 14:

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli naval commandos on Tuesday seized a cargo ship in the Mediterranean carrying what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said were Iranian-supplied weapons intended for Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

A military spokeswoman said Israeli forces met no resistance when they intercepted the German-owned “Victoria” some 200 miles from Israel and were taking the vessel to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

Israel maintains a land and naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, a coastal enclave controlled by Hamas, an Islamist movement opposed to peace with the Jewish state.

The military said the vessel had set off from the Syrian port of Latakia and stopped in Mersin, Turkey, before heading toward Alexandria in Egypt. Turkey has no involvement in the arms shipment, the military said….

“Many weapons were found on board, intended for terrorist forces in the heart of Gaza,” Netanyahu said. “Iran is the source of the weaponry.”…

Jihad Watch

Tagged with:
 

From JPost:

The IDF seized a freighter ship with dozens of tons of weaponry from Iran headed for Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

The ship, known as Victoria, was flying a Liberian flag, and was seized by the navy in the Meditteranean Sea, 200 miles off of Israel’s coast.

The Victoria was boarded by commandos from the Israely Navy’s Flotilla 13, also known as the Shayetet, and is expected to arrive in the Ashdod port on Tuesday evening.

An initial inspection of the cargo revealed the ship was carrying weapons. The exact amount is to be determined.

The crew, questioned by the Navy Commando, was not aware that the cargo contained weaponry.

The ship set sail last night from Turkey, and was expected to dock in Alexandria. There, it was supposed to unload the weapons, which would travel by land to Gaza. The IDF’s assessment is that the weapons did not originate in Turkey, but that the containers were unloaded there and transferred onto the Victoria.

“The operation was approved as necessary in accordance with government directives in light of Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz’s recommendations,” an IDF statement read.

Gantz updated Defense Minister Ehud Barak about the findings on-board the vessel earlier in the morning.

“The IDF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs alerted German authorities about the interception of the “Victoria” due to the German ownership of the ship,” the statement said.

In addition, the government of Liberia, whose flag it was flying under, was notified, as well as France, due to the French shipping company.

In November 2009, the Israeli Navy seized the Francop cargo ship, which was carrying 500 tons of weaponry from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon, including Katyusha rockets and grenades. At the time, IDF officers said the amount was enough to sustain Hezbollah for several weeks of war.

This means that Turkey was at least somewhat complicit as the weapons were reloaded there and allowed to ship from there.

And that the assumption in this episode is that was that the new Egyptian authorities would not be checking shipments going through Rafah for weapons, the way that Mubarak’s regime did. Whether they would actively assist Hamas is unclear.

Welcome to the new, democratic Middle East.

UPDATE: YNet says:

A preliminary probe suggests the ship’s crew was not aware of the weapons concealed on board the vessel.

On its way from Syria to Alexandria, Egypt the ship docked at Turkey’s Mersin Port. It is estimated that the weapons on board were intended for terror groups operating in the Gaza Strip.

Turkey was in no way connected to the ship as far as the IDF is aware. The seizure of the vessel was authorized by the government.

Turkey’s reaction will speak volumes.



Elder of Ziyon

Tagged with:
 

From JPost:

The IDF seized a freighter ship with dozens of tons of weaponry from Iran headed for Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

The ship, known as Victoria, was flying a Liberian flag, and was seized by the navy in the Meditteranean Sea, 200 miles off of Israel’s coast.

The Victoria was boarded by commandos from the Israely Navy’s Flotilla 13, also known as the Shayetet, and is expected to arrive in the Ashdod port on Tuesday evening.

An initial inspection of the cargo revealed the ship was carrying weapons. The exact amount is to be determined.

The crew, questioned by the Navy Commando, was not aware that the cargo contained weaponry.

The ship set sail last night from Turkey, and was expected to dock in Alexandria. There, it was supposed to unload the weapons, which would travel by land to Gaza. The IDF’s assessment is that the weapons did not originate in Turkey, but that the containers were unloaded there and transferred onto the Victoria.

“The operation was approved as necessary in accordance with government directives in light of Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz’s recommendations,” an IDF statement read.

Gantz updated Defense Minister Ehud Barak about the findings on-board the vessel earlier in the morning.

“The IDF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs alerted German authorities about the interception of the “Victoria” due to the German ownership of the ship,” the statement said.

In addition, the government of Liberia, whose flag it was flying under, was notified, as well as France, due to the French shipping company.

In November 2009, the Israeli Navy seized the Francop cargo ship, which was carrying 500 tons of weaponry from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon, including Katyusha rockets and grenades. At the time, IDF officers said the amount was enough to sustain Hezbollah for several weeks of war.

This means that Turkey was at least somewhat complicit as the weapons were reloaded there and allowed to ship from there.

And that the assumption in this episode is that was that the new Egyptian authorities would not be checking shipments going through Rafah for weapons, the way that Mubarak’s regime did. Whether they would actively assist Hamas is unclear.

Welcome to the new, democratic Middle East.

UPDATE: YNet says:

A preliminary probe suggests the ship’s crew was not aware of the weapons concealed on board the vessel.

On its way from Syria to Alexandria, Egypt the ship docked at Turkey’s Mersin Port. It is estimated that the weapons on board were intended for terror groups operating in the Gaza Strip.

Turkey was in no way connected to the ship as far as the IDF is aware. The seizure of the vessel was authorized by the government.

Turkey’s reaction will speak volumes.



Elder of Ziyon

Tagged with:
 

Fundamentalist Shias assisting fundamentalist Sunnis? You’re kidding.
American Thinker Blog

Tagged with: