By Michael J. Totten
Eli Lake at the New York Sun found some disturbing evidence that Iran armed Hezbollah through Turkey during the recent war in Lebanon.
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel's relationship with Turkey, its closest ally in the region, has been put under severe strain by the Israeli army's discovery that one route Iran used to resupply Hezbollah in Lebanon ran through Turkey into Syria.
The intelligence, described by one Israeli official here as "irrefutable," found that in the days prior to the August 14 cease-fire, a shipment of spare parts and components for mobile missile launchers was sent by truck through Turkey to Syria and then into northern Lebanon before being funneled down to front-line Hezbollah terrorists in southern Lebanon.
An American diplomat and another Israeli official who requested anonymity confirmed this account last night.
Turkey is an ally of Israel. Turkey belongs to NATO. Turkey hopes to join the European Union.
These arrangements, especially the bid to join Europe, were already strained leading up to the Hezbollah war. If it turns out that Turkey knowingly, rather than negligently, helped arm an Iranian-backed terrorist army in the heat of battle against a Western-allied democracy, they can forget joining Europe forever.
One of the best things about Turkey joining the EU, at least from an American perspective, is that Turkey would be all but forced to align itself permanently with the West and forswear forever these sorts of shenanigans. If Europe slams the door for whatever reason, we’ll likely see more murky and nefarious behavior from Ankara in the future.