Israel Worries Biden Admin’s Weapons to Ukraine Being Intercepted by Islamist Militant Groups

Originally published June 16, 2023 7:42 am PDT

A senior Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) official has recently expressed serious concerns about the possibility of U.S. and other Western nations’ weapons, supplied to Ukraine, falling into the hands of Iran, a notorious adversary of both the U.S. and Israel.

This development adds a new dimension to the ongoing history of U.S. arms shipments being repurposed to serve against the Biden administration’s allies, as attention is drawn away toward the brewing conflict in Eastern Europe.

Given the sensitivity of the matter, the official, speaking anonymously, revealed that they are observing the redirection of weapons from both sides of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

According to them, pro-Russian forces may be inspired to reroute captured American weapons due to Moscow and Tehran’s robust defense alliance.

Pro-Ukrainian factions, on the other hand, could be largely driven by financial motives to engage in arms smuggling.

The senior IDF official highlighted the Black Sea to the Mediterranean route as the main pathway for these activities.

Speaking to Newsweek, the Israeli commander voiced his grave concerns, stating, “One is that they can research capabilities, and then learn how to manufacture them. I’m talking especially about Iran. The other problem is that we are very worried that some of these capabilities are going to fall to Hezbollah and Hamas’ hands.”

Unfortunately, accurately gauging the magnitude of these weapon diversions is proving challenging, given the IDF’s usual concentration on Middle East affairs while the current arms flow extends to Europe and North Africa.

“It’s really challenging to build the picture, but we see the signs,” the official acknowledged. “We see the signs, and this is very, very troubling.”

In addition, an intelligence agent from a foreign nation, who also wished to remain anonymous due to the subject’s sensitive nature, pointed out a particular incident on August 20.

Reportedly, a Russian Il-76 transport plane had delivered an estimated $100 million worth cargo in Tehran, thought to include Western weapons like American Javelins and UK-made Next-Generation Light Anti-armor Weapons (NLAWs).

In exchange for providing Russia with drones for use in Ukraine, Iran is believed to be reverse-engineering such weapons.

To substantiate this information, the source provided satellite imagery, but Newsweek was unable to independently confirm the visual evidence.

The increasing diversion of Western arms to Israel’s adversaries is indeed a matter of grave concern, adding a new dimension to the global geopolitics surrounding the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal confirmed the Biden administration will send Abrams tanks equipped with depleted-uranium rounds to Ukraine.

These depleted-uranium rounds are not only very powerful, which is worrisome should they end up in the wrong hands, but also have sparked concerns due to their potential health and environmental risks.

The projectiles carry “chemical toxicity” implications, as some raise concerns over the risk of unexploded ordnance causing civilian casualties long after the conflict has ended.