The United States blocked an Iranian cargo plane's flight to
Syria last month as it was carrying missiles and launchers to
resupply Hezbollah, the USA Today daily newspaper reported
The US blocked the plane after intelligence analysts concluded
it was carrying sophisticated missiles and launchers to resupply
Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.
Eight days after Hezbollah's war with Israel began, US diplomats
persuaded Turkey and Iraq to deny the plane permission to cross
their territory to Damascus, a transfer point for arms to
Hezbollah, the officials were quoted as saying.
The episode was detailed by one US intelligence official who saw
a report on the incident, and was confirmed by a US official from a
second intelligence agency and by a diplomat with a foreign
government, the newspaper said.
The officials and diplomat's accounts illustrated the quiet
support the United States gave Israel during the 34-day war, even
enlisting help from Muslim nations where acting on Israel's behalf
was politically anathema, it said.
Israel and US President George W. Bush have accused the
Shiite-dominated government of Iran of shipping the Shiite militia
increasingly sophisticated weapons by way of Syria, the newspaper
The report also said the Iraqi and Turkish governments would not
discuss the incident, Iran's United Nations mission denied trying
to send Hezbollah weapons, and claimed that the intelligence
officials had not provided reports, satellite photos or other
evidence to corroborate the sequence of events.
Their account could not be independently verified, it added.
(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2006)