The US Intelligence has learned that Russia’s Wagner Group is preparing to deliver an advanced air defence missile system to Hezbollah following the Lebanese militia group’s clashes with Israel, reported New York Post.
American officials are currently monitoring discussions between the Wagner mercenary group and Lebanon’s Hamas-supporting militia on the possible delivery of the SA-22, a system that uses anti-aircraft missiles and guns to combat airstrikes, the New York Post reported citing the Wall Street Journal report.
The SA-22 system is also known as Pantsir-S1, which is a truck-mounted surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapons system made in Russia.
This weapon was also used in the Russian-Ukraine war and could be deployed in the Middle East by the Iran-backed militia group for defence purposes against Israel’s airstrikes.
Moreover, as the Israel-Hamas war escalates, clashes between Israel and Hezbollah have also increased along the Lebanese border.
According to the US officials, the SA-22 has yet to be delivered to Lebanon, but highlighted that some Hezbollah and Wagner personnel are currently stationed in Syria, New York Post reported.
However, it is still unclear if the weapon could be transported from Lebanon to Gaza to help Hamas in fighting against Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza.
Moreover, Russian officials have also not commented on the alleged discussion between Wagner and Hezbollah yet.
Meanwhile, the US has made its presence in the area by stationing an aircraft barrier in the Eastern Mediterranean to hinder Hezbollah from joining Hamas in attacking Israel.
As Israel declared war on Hamas on October 7 as Hamas attacked the country by firing rockets, US President Joe Biden warned outside parties from staging an assault on Israel’s borders.
However, despite the warning, the heads of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad met last week to announce their united war against Israel, the New York Post reported.
The trio of terrorist leaders — dubbed the “axis of resistance” — met to set a goal for achieving “a real victory for the resistance in Gaza and Palestine” and halt Israel’s “treacherous and brutal aggression against our oppressed and steadfast people in Gaza and the West Bank,” a statement said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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