In what an Israeli analyst described as “psychological warfare” by Hezbollah, a Lebanese satellite TV station claimed Sunday evening that Syria has deployed missiles targeting Israel in the wake of two Israeli strikes on Iranian missile shipments in Damascus.
The pro-Hezbollah station Al-Mayadeen quoted unnamed “high-ranking sources” saying that “Syria has placed missile batteries directed at occupied Palestine.”
The report on the station’s website also claimed that Syria was now “prepared to arm the resistance in Lebanon” — Hezbollah — “with all forms of weapons,” including “new and high-quality weapons which it has not previously provided.”
Israel’s leading Arab affairs analyst Ehud Yaari described the report, which was quickly picked up by other Arab media, as psychological warfare by Hezbollah, and noted that there was no confirmation of the claims. Yaari also highlighted that comments earlier Sunday by Syria’s deputy foreign minister to the effect that the Israeli strikes were a “declaration of war” were not repeated by the Syrian information minister in a public appearance that followed internal Syrian government consultations.
Ghassan Bin Jeddo, the director of Al-Mayadeen who is a close ally of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, said that a decision had been taken in principle by Syria, Iran and Hezbollah to retaliate for the Israeli attacks.
The Al-Mayadeen report said Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi called his Syrian counterpart to pledge Iran’s “full backing” for Damascus.
Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, meanwhile, it said, pledged that Hezbollah would respond to the Israeli strikes.