Tehran was drawn into backing Libya’s rebels by the discovery that the military stores they captured in Benghazi offered a one-time opportunity to acquire unconventional systems, especially chemical weapons, for its surrogates, the Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian Hamas.
DEBKA–(H/T ALASTAIR) –The Libyan war has become the global arms market’s richest event in five years. Qaddafi may be its primary engine, but Libyan rebels have not been amiss to dipping their hands in this lucrative market on their own behalf, DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military and intelligence sources disclose.
In the third week of February, Iranian representatives arrived in Benghazi on a shopping trip. They sat down with “senior officers” of Libya’s rebel forces, including former members of Qaddafi’s army.
In the first week of March, secret delegations arrived from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip to confirm prices and arrange for the chemical weapons, as well as missiles of various types, especially anti-aircraft missiles purchased in the same batch, to be smuggled out of Libya and transported to their buyers.
Our intelligence sources report that the chemical weapons sold to Hizballah and Hamas were spirited out of Libya in the past week to Sudan in convoys of tightly-secured refrigerator trucks. The consignment also included short-range, surface-to-surface missiles, artillery shells and mortars armed with chemical substances.