Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, speaking for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), told reporters Wednesday afternoon that the Iranian shipment of Syrian M-302 missiles in the Red Sea by naval commandos in Operation Full Disclosure saved “millions of lives” among Israeli civilians.
The missiles, Lerner said, were intended for distribution to terrorist groups in Hamas-controlled Gaza could have reached civilian targets inside the entire country.
Lerner said that the “military grade, surface-to-surface” missiles, manufactured in Syria, had been sent via air from Damascus International Airport to Tehran, then shipped through Iran to Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf. He said that Iran had been behind the shipment “from A to Z,” continuing a long history of such smuggling efforts, and that the weapons would have been distributed to terrorist organizations in Gaza.
“In huge volume, [these missiles] could be called a game-changer,” Lerner said, adding that the IDF believes terror organizations do not currently have such missiles in their arsenal.
The ship, the Klos C, will be towed to the Israeli Red Sea port city of Eilat, where it will undergo a more thorough inspection.
Lerner argued that Iran’s behavior violated United Nations resolutions but would not speculate as to what, if anything, the UN would do.