(JNS.org) The Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah held its first-ever military parade in Syria last week, in a rare public show of force by the group.
The parade, held in the Syrian city of al-Qasayr, featured a wide array of equipment, including Soviet-made T-72 tanks, Russian Kornet anti-tank missiles, armored personnel carriers (APCs), rapid response motorcycles, and KS-12A anti-aircraft weapons. But the most significant pieces of equipment featured by the terror group were American-made M113 APCs.
According to the London-based Arabic daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, U.S. officials are investigating how Hezbollah came to possess the American APCs. Some believe Hezbollah may have received the equipment from the Lebanese army.
The Lebanese army received 50 armored vehicles, 40 artillery pieces, and 50 grenade launchers from the U.S. last summer as part of a military aid package. Alternatively, Hezbollah may have seized the equipment from the Israeli-allied South Lebanon Army following Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, or from the Islamic State terror group, which seized U.S.-made equipment from depots in Iraq.
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem claimed that the terror group has now transformed into a formal military entity and no longer relies on guerrilla tactics.
Hezbollah, Qassem told the Lebanese daily newspaper Al Safir, “now has a heavily armed and well-trained army and the resistance does not need to rely on guerrilla tactics. We have acquired well-developed expertise to protect Lebanon and the interest of Lebanon.”
"This military parade is a clear and visible message to everyone and there is no need for clarification or interpretation of the meaning of that message," Qassem added.