TEL AVIV Nov 18 Syria has used up more than 90
percent of its ballistic missiles against rebels during a more
than four-year-old civil war but a few were transferred to
Hezbollah guerrillas in neighbouring Lebanon, a senior Israeli
military officer said on Wednesday.
Israel, which is expanding its high-altitude Arrow air
defence system with U.S. help, has been keeping an eye on
Syria's Scud-type missiles as well as Iran's long-range Shehabs
as potential threats.
"The number of (Syrian) ballistic missiles left is less than
10 percent," a senior Israeli officer told Reuters on condition
of anonmity, but added: "That could still change. They could
start making them again."
Syrian opposition activists say Damascus' army has fired
dozens of devastating Scud-type missiles at rebel-held areas,
out of a ballistic arsenal believed to have numbered in the
hundreds before the insurgency erupted in 2011.
Israel had a stable standoff with Syria's ruling Assad
family for decades. It sees little chance of the now fractured
Arab neighbour going to war with it now, but is still on guard
for any accidental cross-border launches or deliberate attacks
by jihadi rebels.
The Israelis are more worried about Iranian-backed
Hezbollah, which fought their superior military to a standstill
in a 2006 Lebanon war and has been building up its arsenal.
Hezbollah now has more than 100,000 rockets, including
"around 10" advanced Scud-D missiles with conventional warheads
supplied by Syria, the senior Israeli military officer said.
Hezbollah does not comment publicly on its military
capabilities but has confirmed improving them since 2006.
(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)