Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2010 15:57 UK

Syria denies supplying scud missiles to Lebanon

Hezbollah flags at Beirut rally
Hezbollah is fiercely opposed to Israel

Syria has denied Israeli accusations it had supplied scud missiles to the militant group Hezbollah.

Israeli President Shimon Perez had accused Damascus on Tuesday of shipping the long-range missiles to guerrillas in the south of Lebanon.

The US expressed alarm at the accusation. The Obama administration has re-establish relations with Syria after a five-year hiatus.

A Syrian government statement said the accusations were "fabrications".

"The Syrian Arab Republic believes that Israel aims through these claims to further strain the atmosphere in the region," a statement from the Syrian Foreign Ministry said.

They accused Israel of trying to set the stage for "Israeli aggression".

An unnamed Israeli official speaking to news agency Reuters said the Scud missiles were smuggled into the Hezbollah stronghold of southern Lebanon two months ago.

The missiles can fire a warhead hundreds of miles.

In August last year Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said his organisation could "hit any city in Israel", but did not give further details.

In 2006 Israel fought a war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in which 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis died.

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