Report: Missile system captured by Hizbullah, sent to Iran

Monday, November 6, 2006

TEL AVIV Hizbullah has captured an Israeli-origin advanced anti-tank guided missile system.

Israel state-owned television said an unidentified army unit left the launcher and missile in southern Lebanon, Middle East Newsline reported. The television said in a Nov. 3 report that Hizbullah found the Spike system and transferred it to Iran.

Israeli military sources said the Ground Forces Command has determined that Hizbullah seized the Spike anti-tank guided missile system. The sources said Hizbullah captured the Israeli system during the war in Lebanon in the summer of 2006.

"We know that one Gil [Spike] system has gone missing in an area where Hizbullah operated," a source said.

The Spike was developed and produced by the state-owned Rafael, Israel Armament Development Authority. The system, sold to several countries, was widely used against Hizbullah in the 34-day war in Lebanon, which ended on Aug. 14.

"It obviously went to Iran," Yoav Limor, the television's military commentator, said.

The television report said Israel's military has assessed that Iran would seek to reverse-engineer the Spike ATGM, with a range of four kilometers. Limor said this would allow Iran to develop counter-measures.

During the war, Hizbullah used Russian-origin anti-tank missiles obtained from Syria. They included the AT-14 Kornet missile, with a range of 5.5 kilometers.

Copyright 2006 East West Services, Inc.

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