Lebanese Hezbollah is buying US- and British-made military equipment from former Free Syrian Army (FSA) commanders in southern Syria, the UAE-based Orient TV reported on February 9.
The equipment bought by Hezbollah reportedly includes US-made TOW anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and UK-made thermal surveillance systems. According to Orient, these equipment were not handed over to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) under the reconciliation agreement.
The agreement was reached in mid-2018 following a large battle and allowed the SAA to recapture all opposition-held areas in the southern part of the country.
Local sources told Orient that the illegal arms deal between Hezbollah and former FSA commanders are being facilitated by the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Directorate and the SAA’s 4th Division.
Over the last few months, loads of US-supplied weapons have been seized in southern Syria. However, this was a result of intensive search operations by the SAA and not illegal deals as Orient is claiming. Moreover, the claims of Hezbollah presence in the region are not backed by any evidence.
The report is an example of the repeated attempts by the Syrian opposition media to spark a new conflict in southern Syria by claiming that Hezbollah and Iranian forces are still operating to the region near the contact line with Israel.