Commenting on recent reports that Syria transferred Scud missiles to Shiite group, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs says US relayed its concerns to Damascus, warns move could undermine regional stability
Yitzhak Benhorin Published: 04.14.10, 22:41 / Israel News
WASHINGTON - Hezbollah's missiles are managing to pose a threat far beyond Lebanon. White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs on Wednesday confirmed that Washington has expressed its "deep concern" to high-ranking officials in Damascus and Beirut, following reports that Syria has delivered Scud missiles to the Shiite organization.
Gibbs said the US is deeply concerned over suspicions of the transfer of sophisticated weapons. He said that Washington has relayed its concerns to the relevant bodies and believes measures should be taken to remove any threat, as this could undermine stability in the region.
"We are obviously increasingly concerned about the sophisticated weaponry that are - that is allegedly being transferred. We have expressed our concerns to those governments and believe that steps should be taken to reduce - to reduce any risk and any danger of anything from happening," he said.
Shortly afterwards, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley addressed the issue and told reporters that if the reports prove to be true, this would put Lebanon at significant risk.
"If such an action has been taken, and we continue to analyze this issue ... clearly it potentially puts Lebanon at significant risk," Crowley said.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday quoted US administration officials as saying that the tension between Israel and Syria following reports of arms deliveries would not prevent the US from restoring its envoy to Damascus, and only strengthens the need to do so.
According to the report, American officials who have been updated on the intelligence collected in the matter confirmed that Israel and the US believe Syria is behind the transfer of weapons, which were manufactured using either North Korean or Russian technology.
In an interview with the paper, Hezbollah sources denied the claims and said this was an Israeli attempt to divert the world's attention from the construction in east Jerusalem and the settlements.
A spokesperson from the Syrian embassy in Washington said Israel was making such claims in order to cover up for its military strengthening.
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