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Hezbollah Hit Israeli Ship With Iranian Missile

From the DNC’s Associated Press:

The damaged IDF Saar 5.

Israel: Iran Aided Hezbollah Ship Attack

Jul 15, 10:58 AM (ET)
By MATT MOORE

JERUSALEM (AP) – A missile fired by Hezbollah, not an unmanned drone laden with explosives, damaged an Israeli warship off Lebanon, the army said Saturday. Elite Iranian troops helped fire the missile, a senior Israeli intelligence official said.

One sailor was killed and three were missing.

The intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said about 100 Iranian soldiers are in Lebanon and helped fire the Iranian-made, radar-guided C-102 at the ship late Friday.

The official added that the troops involved in firing the missile are from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, an elite corps of more than 200,000 fighters that is independent of the regular armed forces and controlled directly by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Initial information indicated the guerrillas had used a drone for the first time to attack Israeli forces. But the army’s investigation showed that Hezbollah had fired an Iranian-made missile at the vessel from the shores of Lebanon, said Brig. Gen. Ido Nehushtan.

"We can confirm that it was hit by an Iranian-made missile launched by Hezbollah. We see this as very profound fingerprint of Iranian involvement in Hezbollah," Nehushtan said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Another Hezbollah missile also hit and sank a nearby merchant ship at around the same time, Nehushtan said. He said that ship apparently was Egyptian, but had no other information.

Nehushtan said the body of one of the four Israeli soldiers missing in the attack was found aboard the damaged warship. Other Israeli military officials said two bodies had been found.

The Israeli vessel, a Saar 5-class missile ship named the "Spear," was heading to its home port in Israel on Saturday, the army said.

A military official said the ship is one of the most technologically advanced in the Israeli fleet, boasting an array of Harpoon and Gabriel missiles, along with a system for electronically jamming attacking missiles and other threats.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, said the missile detection and deflection system was not operating, apparently because the sailors did not anticipate such an attack.

The Israeli intelligence official said Hezbollah also has Iranian-made drones, and warned that they are more accurate than missiles.

Israel launched an offensive after Hezbollah guerrillas crossed the Israel-Lebanon border on Wednesday and captured two Israeli soldiers. Israel has bombarded Lebanon’s airport and main roads in the most intensive offensive against the country in 24 years, while Hezbollah has launched hundreds of rockets into Israel.

The intense fighting has sent shock waves through a region already traumatized by Israel’s battle against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

I suspect that the military mavens at the AP actually meant a C-802 missile, rather than a C-102. If so, this is a very serious development as the C-802 is a Silkworm (or more accurately, Saccade) missile:

Other outlets are reporting that the Israelis are claiming it was a C-802 missile.

Lest we forget, our good friends in China sold C-802 missiles to Iran in 1996 and subsequently.

The Clinton administration announced they wouldn’t call for sanctions, since they didn’t see this as a destabilizing action on the part of China and Iran:

Testifying in April, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Einhorn said the law "does provide for a substantial list of actions" against anyone providing Iran or Iraq with destabilizing numbers or types of conventional weapons, or assisting them in the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction. The administration has maintained since March 1996 that China’s sale of the C802 Silkworm land and sea-launched anti-ship missile to Iran are not sufficiently destabilizing in numbers or type to trigger sanctions.

And Bill Clinton was the most intelligent President ever.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, July 15th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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