The US Congressional Research Service reveals that Iran has helped Syria obtain “various forms of weapons of mass destruction” and missiles, as well as buying midget submarines – all from North Korea.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the North Korean miniature subs are capable of dropping small teams of commando forces on enemy shores, damaging large warships and mining the approaches of naval bases and harbors. They are capable of sowing EM-52 “rising mines” originally developed by China, which lurk on deep sea beds until triggered by a passing ship to release a missile which shoots up to strike its hull.
This weapon substantially enhances the Syrian and Iranian navies’ menace, a development Israel will have take into account in the defenses of its Mediterranean naval bases and commercial ports.
The US CRS notes” Iran purportedly has acted as an intermediary with North Korea to supply Syria with missiles and various forms of WNMD, without specifying whether they are nuclear, chemical or biological.
To keep one of its few allies close, Tehran uses Syria as a “transit point for Iranian weapons shipments to Hizballah and both countries see Hizballah as leverage against Israel to achieve their regional and territorial aims.”
The report sees the Obama administration’s engagement with Syria as a bid to draw Damascus to loosen its bonds with Tehran, but sees little chance of this effort succeeding.
On Oct. 20, DEBKAfile’s military sources disclosed that Syria, Iran’s second ally with an Israeli border, has decided to transfer one-third of its missile stockpile to the Hizballah in Lebanon, topping up its arsenal with 250 medium-range surface rockets that can cover central as well as northern Israel, which was heavily blitzed in the 2006 war.