The BBC’s Martin Patience recently announced his upcoming relocation to Beirut on Twitter.
This is not Patience’s first posting in the Middle East: he spent two years reporting for the BBC from Jerusalem between 2006 and 2008 and was in the Gaza Strip for part of the summer 2014 conflict.
One story already waiting for him in Beirut (that has not been covered by the BBC to date) is that of the reports concerning alleged Iranian-built underground missile factories in Lebanon that have been around for some months.
The Times of Israel brings further information.
“The Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group is constructing at least two underground facilities in Lebanon for manufacturing missiles and other weaponry, according to a report by the French Intelligence Online magazine. […]
Sources told the French industry magazine that one of the factories is being built in northern Lebanon, near the town of Hermel in the eastern Bekaa Valley. The second facility is reportedly being constructed along the southern coast, between the towns of Sidon and Tyre.
According to Intelligence Online, the Hermel facility is being used to produce the Fateh 110, a medium-range missile. The southern facility, meanwhile, will be used to make smaller munitions.”
The Tower adds:
“The Iranian general who first revealed the existence of the factories said that they were built because Israel had destroyed munitions factories in Sudan and hit weapons convoys in Syria en route to Hezbollah.
Iran is banned from exporting weapons by the United Nations Security Council, and is specifically forbidden from arming Hezbollah by Security Council resolution 1701.”
The BBC’s record of reporting Hizballah’s violations of UNSC resolution 1701, it is of course very dismal. Whether or not it will improve with Martin Patience’s arrival in Beirut and audiences will finally get to hear about this story and others remains to be seen.
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