The anonymous official further revealed that Russia has been successful in sending Hezbollah a large shipment of Iskandar ballistic missiles and surface-to-air missiles. The convoy of missiles was received despite the alleged efforts of Israeli airstrikes targeting weapons shipped by Russia earlier in December.
Russia has apparently not made any final decision about pushing Hezbollah to attack Israel. However, the French official believes Russia will use a possible conflict in the Middle East to play out the country’s confrontation with the West.
Earlier in the month, Israel had launched airstrikes in Syrian government territory. The Daily Beast reported that Israeli troops have been ordered to blow up weapons supplied to Hezbollah. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bognadov was in a meeting with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to negotiate peace in Syria and the delivery of Russian weapons to help the group fight ISIS militants.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has noted a significant increase in foreign intelligence activities. In a TASS report, Mr Putin said in a gala night commemorating the Day of Security Service Officers that foreign special services activity is “on the rise” in Russia.
He encouraged the members of the Russian intelligence service to step up efforts to fight terrorism and extremism. Mr Putin reminded the Russian secret service that one of its key tasks is to thwart “any attempts of foreign special services” to deliver a blow to Russia. The Russian president, a former KGB operative, has previously downplayed the threat of a coup as he believes majority of Russians support his leadership.