Hezbollah Parade Features US-Made Armored Vehicles, Raising Eyebrows

Unclear How Vehicles Ended Up in Hezbollah's Hands

Hezbollah recently paraded their considerable arsenal of vehicles around publicly, and one of the sets of vehicles raised a number of questions: a collection of US-made M113 armored personnel carriers mounted with old Soviet ZPU-2 anti-aircraft weapons.

Hezbollah’s militia understandably is built out of a lot of rag-tag equipment and hand-me downs, but it is unclear exactly where they got ahold of the US made M113s. The initial speculation was that they’d gotten them from the Lebanese military, somehow, though this doesn’t appear likely, and indeed the M113s are of an older model, suggesting a more obscure origin.

Some US officials suggested the age might be a clue, pointing to the long-collapsed Israel-backed Southern Lebanese Army (SLA). Israel gave the SLA 20 such M113s back in 1985, and it’s possible Hezbollah might’ve ended up with those after the SLA collapsed.

Others are theorizing that Hezbollah, active in Syria, might’ve captured them during a battle with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, though where the al-Qaeda faction would’ve gotten the M113s themselves is a whole separate issue. ISIS is known to have captured some M113s in Iraq, so they conceivably might’ve initially smuggled some into Syria, but for Nusra to get them would require the vehicles to change hands at least a couple times before finding their way to Hezbollah.

Either way, that Hezbollah is openly using US vehicles is another public embarrassment, reflective of the US obsession with ever-growing arms exports leaving several regions so awash in US-made arms and vehicles that every side of every conceivable conflict has managed to get ahold of some.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Basil McDonnell

    The M-113 is one of the most widely used military vehicles of all time. 80,000 were built. They were sold to fifty countries.

    That Hezbollah has a few of them is not much of a surprise.

  • shishani

    Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, ISIS all American made terrorist organizations for, reasons as follow, divide powers, give bad name for Muslims, war on terror and God knows what, neither one of those terror groups represent Islam, jihad have to be declared by a Muslim country ruler and not by an individual and there are rules and regulation in calling for jihad.

  • EME

    but it is unclear exactly where they got ahold of the US made M113s…

    From Bibi of course (wink…wink…nod)

    • Adriaan de Leeuw

      We do know that Israel was at one stage giving Medical treatment to Al Nusra Fighters, when they were friendly with US forces so nothing is impossible here! Al Nusra being those so called Moderate Insurgents the US claimed it was using the same ones that Senator John Mccain visited in 2013 in Syria (Illegally I might add) even had photos taken with them photos that included senior to be ISIS leaders before the split!

  • Caesar_Saladin

    It shouldn’t be a surprise at all- you can buy M113’s online and have them delivered anywhere in the world- and anyone competent with a welder can fashion a weapons mount. Those of you who know about M113’s know it’s not getting your hands on one that’s the problem- it’s keeping them running that’s the fun part. Quill shaft, anyone?

    • freedom74

      Or the “armor” that won’t stop an 7.62mm round from medium range. That’s why the soldiers used to ride on top of them, so they wouldn’t get killed in the ricochets inside or breath the aluminum fumes from the damaged armor.

  • Pat Dunne

    I think the problem here is that American arms traders didn’t get their commission.

  • Adriaan de Leeuw

    yes off to Al Nusra from Iraq and when the split of Al nusra/ISIS they went with ISIS and captured came to Hezbollah!