The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

When will Sunni extremists hit Hizbullah in Lebanon?

One major, running question over the last seven years has been when/if Sunni extremists will attack their bitter enemy, Hizbullah. Indeed, there have been a slew of “reports” over the years, some as a part of the info war and some perhaps more credible. This piece translated by Mideastwire from As-Safir makes one think that 1) with the situation unraveling in Syria, 2) with a growing religious-sunni bent to the insurgency, 3) with increasing suicide/bomb attacks against the Syrian regime, its supporters and other civilians, AND 4) with Hizbullah’s support for the regime+5) extremist Sunni hatred for Hizbullah… all the elements are finally moving into place to see a concerted attack from within the Islamist discourse and practice as likely in the short term. This could be just as explosive if not more so, than an attempt by salafi affiliates/admirers to draw in Israel into the growing Levant conflict. Is Hizbullah really ramping up its internal security? And not just vis-a-vis spies?

“Al-Qa’idah today in Syria and tomorrow in Lebanon?”

On May 4, the independent leftist As-Safir daily carried the following report by Sami Kleib: “If the Americans are right, then the fighters of Al-Qa’idah are now the most dangerous party in Syria. If the American talk is added to the series of explosions extending from Damascus to Aleppo and carrying the signature of this organization, then one can say that the actual requirement is [to say there is] a civil war in Syria on the one hand and that Lebanon is threatened with turning into the favorite arena of Al-Qa’idah fighters on the other hand…

“First, these are the most prominent American statements: Hillary Clinton, the American Secretary of State stated on CBS: “We know that the Al-Qa’idah leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, supports the Syrian opposition. So should we support Al-Qa’idah in Syria? And now, Hamas is supporting the opposition, so should we support Hamas in Syria…?” A few days ago, the international news agencies quoted a prominent intelligence official at the Congress who said that “members of the Al-Qa’idah terrorist group are infiltrating the Syrian opposition…”

“The Damascus circles are saying that the Syrian apparatuses are in possession of several files indicating the implication of Al-Qa’idah. There is information that has been transferred to some Arab countries and that warned against disregarding these elements… Lebanon is said to be one of these countries that received direct warnings… Available information also indicates that the Russians offered detailed information to the western countries concerning the danger of Al-Qa’idah in Syria. This was one of the main reasons why several countries, including France, shied away from arming the opposition. In addition, this internally divided opposition is no longer a source of reassurance for these countries…

“The leaders of the opposition National Council quickly acquitted themselves of Al-Qa’idah…However, anything that the Syrian opposition says can only reach the western ears if it is in agreement with the western interests. The western concern about Al-Qa’idah is related to the American interests in the region and to Israel. Some even went as far as to say that the west now only has the Syrian and the Egyptian armies to confront an Islamic expansion in case it grows unbounded…

“The only matter that is very worrisome consists of the Lebanese situation. The Syrian army cannot back away. No matter what the future of the Annan mission is, the Syrian forces will proceed with the military operation and with chasing after the armed men. These armed men’s only way out could be fleeing in the direction of Lebanon since the borders with Iraq are now better controlled and the intelligence communications with Turkey and Jordan have never been severed… Will Lebanon be able to contain that in the upcoming phase? Western security officials heard these fears from Lebanese security officials in the past phase. Some of them visited Beirut and came back with a detailed file concerning these dangerous possibilities. The Syrian fire is growing nearer to the Lebanese lands and the firefighters are few.” – As-Safir, Lebanon

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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