Crossfire War – TEHRAN – BEIRUT – DAMASCUS WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Damascus – Riyadh – Amman – Beirut/Paris – Rome – Jerusalem – Cairo; Lebanon Opposition Ends Demand for Unity Government – US Convinced PM Siniora to Agree and Depart – Berlin Waiting – Fighting at Nahr al-Bared Ends – Syria Congratulates Lebanon as Beirut Now Within Sphere of Influence of Iran-Syria-Riyadh
Night Watch: BEIRUT – Recent events in the past few days have indicated Lebanon is now within the sphere of influence of Tehran-Syria-Riyadh. One of the Lebanese opposition leaders, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, has just announced the opposition, which has been demonstrating in downtown Beirut since December, has dropped its demand for a Unity Government and will instead agree to a Consensus Candidate. The opposition knows and their state sponsors, Iran-Syria-Saudi Arabia, the candidate will not be Prime Minister Fouad Siniora as a result of the three hour visit a couple of days ago by U. S. Chief of Central Command Admiral William Fallon. It was reported at the time Fallon may be acting under orders to prepare an evacuation of Lebanon’s leaders who have close relations with the West. The next day it is then announced Siniora will make a visit to Berlin on Wednesday September 5. I suspect Fallon may have been acting on the recommendations from the French who realize Siniora’s position is untenable and perhaps he could be saved before the fighting expands beyond the Palestinian refugee camp-city Nahr al-Bared outside Tripoli in northern Lebanon near Syria’s border. The fighting has been preparation for Syria’s entry into Lebanon in support of Hezbollah. That is why the war began near Syria’s border. [ALJAZEERA]
Having left Lebanon already, realizing a major war is about take place, much more devastating than last summer’s is the Ambassadors from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Other embassies and foreign missions have reduced their staff and Damascus told its citizens in Lebanon, right after fighting began May 20, to leave the country. With these agreements Tehran had most of the remaining fighters of the suicide unit Fatah al-Islam, some of whom were from Saudi Arabia, attack a Lebanon army position near the Nahr al-Bared from three directions knowing they would suffer heavy losses and that is enabling Siniora to declare victory and pronounce he will rebuild the destroyed camp. He is fully aware with his departure the last remaining influence of the West in Lebanon departs with him. France Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner may have told Siniora, when he visited Siniora during the fighting, the European forces in UNIFIL were not at all prepared for this and could do nothing to help him, in effect admitting UNIFIL is not a serious security presence, just there. [ALJAZEERA]
Debka is now reporting Lebanon’s army, though moving into the camp, will not be in control of the underground bunker complex, which still contains some well-supplied fighters of Fatah al-Islam. East German military engineers constructed the subterranean complex during the 1980s for Yasser Arafat and his Fatah gunmen to protect them from Israeli air strikes. That is why when the fighting began one of Fatah al-Islam’s leaders said they could resist for months, since the bunkers probably contain living quarters and huge food-ammunition storage areas, which can be supplied through tunnels. And that is probably the reason the death of Fatah al-Islam’s leader cannot be confirmed. [DEBKA]
Lebanon was quickly congratulated by Egypt Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu al-Ghait, which is not surprising because Fatah al-Islam represents political forces in Egypt, which would want to see Egypt’s government replaced by one no longer cooperating with the West. But what was especially interesting was the statement by Syria Foreign Minister Walid Muallem congratulating the “army on winning this fight against a terrorist group, which distracted the Lebanese army from their enemy Israel.” Syria-Iran and the House of Saud now have control over Lebanon so I suspect the new residents of the underground bunker will be Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, his staff and perhaps their families. This will probably be one of the first targets of Israel’s nuclear weapons.
The military footnote UNIFIL will be caught in the crossfire.