Syria has moved anti-aircraft missiles and heavy artillery to its border with Lebanon, Arabic media outlets reported Friday.
A Lebanese security source with ties to Hezbollah said Thursday that the deployment along the Syrian-Lebanese border — which makes strikes on fighter jets possible — is unprecedented in nature.
Saudi-owned, London-based A-Sharq Al-Awsat cited “media reports and reports from the ground” as saying that Syria had deployed anti-aircraft missiles but that the move did not constitute anything unusual.
A Lebanese military source told A-Sharq Al-Awsat that information regarding the deployment was not yet certain but that, in any case, the movement of arms represents standard reinforcements by Syria against illegal infiltrators crossing the border and does not constitute a belligerent act. The source added that Lebanon would not allow NATO to attack Syria from its territory.
The move on the part of the Syrian army comes at a time when rhetoric across the border in Israel has been heated. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently warned that Israel may have to defend itself against the threat of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles.
Also, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said last month that the movement of chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon would constitute a casus belli.
IDF chief Benny Gantz, however, warned that an attack on Syria could lead Israel into a broader conflict.
Clashes have recently erupted on the Lebanese border following 17-months of violence in Syria. Some analysts fear that Lebanon could be drawn deeper into Syria’s civil war as a result of the protracted conflict.
Elhanan Miller and Yoel Goldman contributed to this report.