War Dead Flown to Iran
By AARON KLEIN,
JERUSALEM — The bodies of Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers killed by the Israeli army in Lebanon have been transported to Syria and flown to Tehran, senior Lebanese political sources said.
Israeli and Egyptian security officials confirmed the news, which follows a report that first appeared in The New York Sun, that Iranian forces posted to southern Lebanon have been aiding Hezbollah terrorists in their attacks against Israel, including helping to fire rockets into Israeli population centers.
The Lebanese sources said between six and nine dead Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers were brought in trucks last week into Syria for a flight back to Iran. They said the bodies were transported along with the tens of thousands of Lebanese civilians fleeing to Syria.
Since Israel began its military campaign in Lebanon two weeks ago following a Hezbollah attack on the Jewish state in which two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped, Syrian authorities have reported that more than 140,000 Lebanese have entered their country, mostly through open areas along the Syria-Lebanon border.
Israeli officials said Iranian Revolutionary Guards directed the firing two weeks ago of a radar-guided C–802 missile that hit an Israeli navy vessel off the coast of Lebanon, killing four soldiers. Israel says Iran acquired the missile from China.
The officials said the Iranian soldiers' duties include keeping custody of long-range missiles within Hezbollah's arsenal, including Zalzal rockets that are said to have a range of 125 miles, placing Tel Aviv within firing range.
Jordanian officials told the Sun they are "100% sure" Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers have fired rockets into Israel. They also said the Syrian army has provided Hezbollah with intelligence information on the locations of strategic Israeli targets to aid in Hezbollah rocket fire.
A Baath Party official operating out of the Golan Heights told the Sun he has information that Iranian soldiers have been firing rockets into Israel.
It would be "very logical" if Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers were helping Hezbollah fire the rockets, a senior Egyptian security official told the Sun.
Israel has long maintained that Iranian Revolutionary Guard units have traveled regularly to south Lebanon to help train local Hezbollah fighters in terrorist tactics and to fortify Hezbollah positions along Israel's northern border.
At times, Revolutionary Guard soldiers have been seen operating openly at Hezbollah outposts in plain view from the Israeli side, military officials say.
Earlier, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mark Regev, said Israel has information that Hezbollah was trying to transfer the two soldiers it kidnapped to Iran.