Report: Iran, North Korea Helping Syria Resume Building Missiles

Syria has managed to enhance its missile-production efforts thanks to help from North Korea and Iran, according to a specialized defense magazine.

In its analysis, Jane's Defense Weekly concluded Bashar Assad's regime has been able to resume manufacturing missiles at a pace that existed before the 2011 start of the Syrian civil war, the Times of Israel reported on Tuesday. A major reason for the ramped up missile production is a desire to feed militant group Hezbollah's appetite for weapons, the report says.

The new missiles being manufactured by the Assad regime's Scientific Studies and Research Center are judged to have greater killing power, but possibly less range and lower accuracy.

The Syrian military is collaborating with North Korea to enhance its Scud D ballistic missiles, which have a reported range of approximately 435 miles. North Korean officials reportedly are developing Scud D missile parts intended to make it harder for adversaries' missile defense systems to monitor the weapon's flight path in the terminal stage.

A different project is under way with support from Iran that focuses on generating enhanced versions of the Khaybar 1 missile, destined for use by Hezbollah. The weapons have a reported range of approximately 62 miles.

The Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center procured weapon parts from international firms by using front companies or middlemen. Both Tehran and Pyongyang are assisting Damascus in overcoming international sanctions hurdles to importing weapon components, according to the report.

A Belarusian company called Belvneshpromservice reportedly assisted Syria in creating a manufacturing unit to assist in building more precise Scud D missiles.

Jan. 28, 2014
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Syria has managed to enhance its missile-production efforts thanks to help from North Korea and Iran, according to a specialized defense magazine.