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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Russia Denies Supplying Hezbollah with Anti-Tank Armaments

Tue, 8 Aug 2006, 00:38

Russia has not supplied modern anti-tank armaments to the Middle East, so Hezbollah militants cannot possibly be in possession of them, Deputy President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems Col. Gen. Leonid Ivashov told Interfax-AVN.

“Had Hezbollah obtained modern close-combat weaponry, including grenade launchers, I think that Israeli army casualties would be incomparable to the current figures,” he said.

Ivashov previously headed the Russian Defense Ministry’s Main Department of International Military Cooperation.

Ivashov’s statement came as a response to a Monday article in the Israeli Haaretz daily claiming Hezbollah had obtained Russian RPG-29s from Syria.

Hezbollah has rather primitive missile launchers for use in guerrilla warfare, items which Russia has never produced. Such weapons may be manufactured in the Middle East, Ivashov said.

Meanwhile, head of the Military Forecasting Center Anatoly Tsyganok ruled out the possibility of deliveries of modern anti-tank weapons to Hezbollah from Russia or Syria.

“Any accusations alleging Russian or Syrian deliveries of anti-tank weapons to any forces in Lebanon are unfounded. The Israeli side has not presented any evidence of this, and it is unlikely that it will,” he told Interfax-AVN on Monday.

RPG-29 weapons have been supplied to India, China and some other countries. “Most probably, such weapons, should Hezbollah militants really have any, might have been brought to Lebanon through third countries,” Tsyganok said.
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