Hezbollah won’t say if it has Scuds

Associated Press / May 1, 2010

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BEIRUT — Hezbollah can strike infrastructure deep inside Israel if a new war breaks out, the group’s leader said in remarks published yesterday, but he refused to confirm whether the militants have long-range Scud missiles.

The missiles have been at the center of new Mideast tensions since Israel earlier this month accused Syria of providing Hezbollah with the Scuds, which have a greater range and can carry a much bigger warhead than the rockets Hezbollah has fired at Israel in the past.

Syria has denied the allegations, as has Lebanon’s Western-backed prime minister.

Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, indicated that the details of the group’s weaponry are secret.

“We don’t speak through the media about the rockets we have or their details,’’ Nasrallah said, according to Hezbollah’s news website. “Do we have what is more or less sophisticated than a Scud missile? These are details I don’t want to speak about. If a war breaks out . . . we said we will attack their [Israeli] infrastructure. We are able to fulfill these promises.’’

US officials have not confirmed Hezbollah’s possession of Scuds.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Syrian transfers of increasingly sophisticated weaponry, including rockets, to militants in southern Lebanon and Gaza could spark new conflict in the Middle East.