October 3, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10821

Kuwaiti Daily: Hizbullah Will Transfer Its Outdated Weapons To The Arab Tribes In Eastern Syria And To Russia, And Russia Will Facilitate The Transfer Of Advanced Iranian Weapons To Hizbullah Via Syria

October 3, 2023
Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Russia, Syria | Special Dispatch No. 10821

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On October 2, 2023, the Kuwaiti Al-Jarida daily reported that during the most-recent visit of Esmail Qaani, commander of the Qods Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to Syria and Lebanon in late September 2023, Russia and Iran reached an agreement according to which Hizbullah will transfer a considerable amount of its outdated weapons to the Arab tribes in Eastern Syria which are fighting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which are supported by the U.S., and also to Russia, which will transfer them to its forces  fighting in Ukraine. In return, Russia will facilitate the transfer of advanced Iranian weapons to Hizbullah, via Syria. The agreement is part of Hizbullah’s efforts to create a balance of power that will deter Israel.[1] According to the report, the information was provided by an IRGC source who accompanied Qaani on his visit.[2]

The IRGC source noted that this agreement is also related to the mediation efforts between Turkey and Syria, in the framework of which the latter committed itself to distancing the Kurdish forces from its border with Turkey. The source further stated that Turkey, Russia, and Iran prefer to avoid direct conflict with the U.S., each for its own reasons, and therefore they believe that the best way to force the SDF out of the border area near Turkey is by activating the Arab tribes in Eastern Syria.

The Al-Quds source also noted that during their meeting in Lebanon, Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah told Qaani that the confrontation with Israel is entering a new phase – a struggle for the energy sources in the Mediterranean Sea – and thus his organization requires high-quality weapons to enable him to create a balance of power that will deter Israel. He further stated that Qaani promised to reach an agreement with Russia that would facilitate the transfer of high-quality weapons in such a manner that they wouldn’t be vulnerable to Israeli attacks.

It late-August 2023 conflicts erupted between the SDF and the Arab tribes in the east of Deir Al-Zour Governorate following a rash of arrests carried out by the SDF which included the arrest of Ahmad Al-Khabil aka Abu Khawlah, the head of the Arab-majority Deir Al-Zour Military Council (the DZMC, which is part of the SDF). According to Syrian opposition sources, Iran is involved in the instigation of these clashes and also works to recruit members of the tribes in the area to the militias it supports, so as to undermine the American presence in the region.[3]


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