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Lebanon Denies Transfer of Iranian Weapons to Hezbollah via Beirut Airport

Lebanon Denies Transfer of Iranian Weapons to Hezbollah via Beirut Airport

Wednesday, 5 September, 2018 - 08:00
People walk outside Beirut international airport in Beirut, Lebanon March 29, 2016. Picture taken March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
Beijing- Asharq Al-Awsat
Lebanon’s Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday denied a report by the US Fox News channel that one of the Iranian airlines, Fars Qeshm Airlines, had smuggled weapons to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut.

The DGCA explained that Fars Qeshm Airlines had already submitted two requests to conduct two cargo flights between the airports of Tehran - Damascus - Beirut - Doha, confirming that the plane landed in Beirut twice empty: on July 9 and August 2. It noted that the plane took off to Doha on July 10, loaded with livestock. The same plane arrived on a second flight on August 2, coming from Tehran, and took off the next day filled with livestock after the approval of the Qatari civil aviation authorities on the cargo.

The Fox News report claimed that Hezbollah and Iran smuggled arms and components for constructing arms into Lebanon on two flights operated by Iran’s Qeshm Fars Air earlier this year.

It also alleged that on July 9, a Boeing 747 left Tehran and took an “uncharacteristic flight path,” stopping in Damascus before continuing on to Beirut, where it landed “shortly after 4 p.m. local time.” The report cited the flight-tracking smartphone app FlightRadar24 and Google Maps to support its claim.

“Western intelligence sources said the airplane carried components for manufacturing precise weapons in Iranian factories inside Lebanon,” the report continued.

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