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Report: Hezbollah trains on missiles

JERUSALEM, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Syria has allowed Lebanese Hezbollah militants to train with advanced anti-aircraft missiles in its territory, a U.S. source says.

The Kuwaiti daily al-Rai quoted an unnamed U.S. official Sunday as saying Hezbollah operatives trained in Syria on SA2 anti-aircraft missile batteries, and that Israel has warned Damascus that if such weapons are given to the Shiite Arab militants, Jerusalem would view it as crossing an undeclared "red line," the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

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The "red lines" were defined by both sides after the Second Lebanon War, waged in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah. Haaretz said al-Rai quoted the U.S. official as saying a war between Israel and Syria could break out if anti-missile batteries are supplied to Hezbollah, but added he didn't believe that a war would start anytime soon.

The Israeli newspaper said intelligence agents have been closely watching arms smuggling from Syria to Hezbollah since the end of the war, but so far have not detected violations of the "red lines."

The U.S. official told al-Rai that Israel's top priority is to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining the SA2 missiles, and wouldn't hesitate to bomb Damascus if the militants got such weapons.

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