WikiLeaks: US Failing to Stop Flow of Mideast Arms

Hezbollah now has 50K Syrian-supplied rockets, missiles
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2010 4:00 AM CST
Young Lebanese Hezbollah supporters carry models of Katyusha and RPG rockets launchers, in front of a portrait of Hezbollah's Secretary-General Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, left.   (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

(Newser) – American efforts to prevent a buildup of arms in the Middle East have been largely frustrated, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks. In one cable, the State Department accuses Syria of breaking a promise to not provide Hezbollah militants in Lebanon with new missiles, the New York Times reports. The Pentagon now believes Hezbollah has 50,000 rockets and missiles, including dozens capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

The cables reveal how North Korea has built up its arms industry using a mining corporation as cover and provided missile technology to Iran and Syria, which passed it on to Hamas and Hezbollah. Syria's support of Hezbollah was of particular concern to diplomats, with one noting that despite assurances otherwise after diplomatic efforts to engage with the country, it had armed Lebanese militants to a level that could "change the military balance and produce a scenario significantly more destructive than the July-August 2006 war."

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