The espionage devices found on Mount Sannine, northeast of Beirut and Barouk Mountain in the Chouf east of the capital, and dismantled by the Lebanese army Wednesday, Dec. 15 after receiving a tipoff from Hizballah, were there to detect and keep track of ground-to-ground missiles installed and operating in central and western Syria and all of Lebanon, debkafile's intelligence sources report.
Lebanese military sources claimed Wednesday night that the devices discovered had five features marking them as hidden surveillance instruments:
1. A laser beam covering a radius of 20 kilometers;
2. A camera for visual reception of details and movements within its range;
3. A device for transmitting images and recordings to its operators said to be in Israel;
4. A system for receiving signals to adjust the angles of the laser beam and cameras;
5. Large batteries for powering the devices.
In a speech he delivered in Beirut Wednesday night, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallahcelebrated the successful Lebanese Army operation and thanked the soldiers "for working so hard in the snow" to locate them.
He praised the "Golden Pair of the Resistance," Hizballah and the Lebanese Army, for its success.
However, debkafile's intelligence sources note that neither of the pair has so far produced a scrap of evidence tying the devices they found to Israel. The photos the Lebanese Army released of their finds showed no sign of snow or moisture although was claimed that the Hizballah tipoff reached the Lebanese Army over the weekend, when Mt. Sannine and Barouk Mountain were both caught up in the violent snow and wind storms battering the Middle East. The photos released look as though they were taken in the summer and handed by Hizballah to the Lebanese army to support their "discovery."
Some time ago, debkafile revealed that the two peaks had been designated by Iran. Syria and Hizballah as sites for the deployment of advanced radar and anti-air missile batteries against Israeli warplanes overflying Lebanon.
Our sources further note that Barouk is part of the Chouf Mountain range which is Druze territory, whereas Mt. Sannine is located in the Christian area of Lebanon where Hizballah has no presence.
During the day and into the night, Wednesday saw an unusual burst of military activity centering in and around Lebanon. Israeli warplanes and helicopters were seen in unusual numbers over the Mediterranean coast of Sidon and South Lebanon, dropping flares and giving rise to reports of mysterious explosions. Witnesses said the aircraft seemed to be looking for some unidentified object. Our military sources add that the planes appeared in a different part of Lebanon from the mountains where the spy devices were found.
Also worth noting is that Wednesday morning, the Lebanese Druze chief Walid Jumblatt was in Damascus. He was closeted with Syrian generals, an event not normally made public.
Another unexplained event was a bomb threat during the day which caused the President's Palace in Baabda to be evacuated. Explosive experts backed by police dogs searched the site but found no bombs.
During the day, Dennis Ross, Barack Obama's Special Adviser on the Middle East and Iran arrived in Israel for special consultations with military and intelligence chiefs.