From the New York Sun Thursday:

American officials said the deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage, told his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Biran, in a meeting Tuesday that Washington has evidence that a Syrian cargo aircraft returned from Tehran in the first week of January with arms for Hezbollah….In an interview with Israel Radio, [Israeli president Moshe Katzav] said of [Syrian president] Assad, “he was also using the aircraft that were flying humanitarian aid to the Iranian earthquake victims to smuggle weapons for Hezbollah from Iran.”… Mr. Biran presented Mr. Armitage with the Israeli evidence of the arms transfer and Mr. Armitage confirmed that the Israeli assessment matched the American government’s.

“This was interesting because the Syrians usually do not use their own aircraft for these shipments,” one American official said yesterday. This official said most of the small arms shipments for Hezbollah reached Damascus from Iran on Iranian Boeing 737 aircraft. But in recent months it has gotten much harder for Iran to ship arms to their proxies in southern Lebanon. While Saddam Hussein’s government allowed the arms flights over its territory, Iraqi airspace is no longer accommodating to these flights. Also, the Turks have stopped allowing the flights to use their airspace for the shipments as well.

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