Saturday, October 14, 2006

Tehran arms Hamas for a double-barreled war option and Gaza as second Lebanon

October 13, 2006
DEBKAfile Special Military Report

The military pacts Palestinian Hamas interior minister Said Siyam signed with his Iranian counterpart Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi in Tehran on Oct. 12 are designed to transform Hamas’ military wing, the Ezz e-Din al Qassam, into a crack operational arm of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and Gaza into a second Lebanon.

Syam was in Tehran for two days at the head of a 7-man delegation. DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report Tehran has committed to training Hamas’ rapid deployment force of 6,500 men in Hizballah combat tactics, with the accent on missiles, especially the anti-tank variety which were used with devastating effect against Israeli tanks in the Lebanon War.

The force will be sent over in batches for six-week courses at Revolutionary Guards installations in southern Iran. Iran will foot the $60 million bill for the training as well as for the top-notch weaponry.