Thursday, June 07, 2012

Lebanon dragged deeper into spreading Syrian violence as US reaches out to Moscow

Syria's deadly violence spills over to Lebanon: Fierce gunbattles between supporters and opponents of Syria’s President Assad have erupted in neighbouring Lebanon leaving at least seven people dead and 30 wounded. The fighting is raging in the port city of Tripoli between gunmen from Assad’s Alawite sect of Shi’ite Islam, and Sunni Muslims from a district nearby. Lebanese troops have moved into the area to try to quell the violence. The international peace envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan expressed his fears of a wider regional conflict if the killings in Syria continue.

Lebanon: Residents of the northern city of Tripoli held a general strike Monday to protest the deadly clashes that gripped the area last week, killing at least 14 and wounding 52.

Washington reached out to Syria's most important ally and protector Saturday, urging Russia to join a coordinated effort to resolve the deadly conflict as the violence spilled across the border into Lebanon, a senior State Department official said. Fears also have risen the violence could spread and provoke a regional conflagration. Already clashes have broken out between pro- and anti-Syrian groups in northern Lebanon, with at least eight people killed late Friday and early Saturday, Lebanese security officials said.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton discussed the situation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a telephone call on Saturday, a senior State Department official said. "They both agreed that we have to work together," said the official, who provided details of the private discussion on condition of anonymity. "Her message to him was that we have to start working together to help Syrians with a serious political transition strategy."

Assad blames Syria's hell on an outside influence and yes there is a growing outside influence and it is on both sides. Assad says tyhere is a danger this growing conflagration will envelop the entire middle east a nd it will. Because of actions taken by those who want to see him stay in power to protect their interest I am afraid this is going to grow way beyond Lebanon. We will be lucky to keep this from becoming world war three.

Deadly violence flares in Beirut: Gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns early on Monday in intense street battles in Beirut, Iran’s ardent courtship of the Lebanese government indicates that Tehran is scrambling to find a replacement for its closest Arab ally, politicians, diplomats and analysts say.
Deadly violence flares in Beirut: Gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns early on Monday in intense street battles in Beirut, killing two people and wounding at least 18 others."There is an uneasy calm.. streets are relatively empty," Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, reported from Beirut."The situation overnight, the clashes that were witnessed in Beirut, were the worst since January 2001 when we saw people take to the streets in protest following the collapse of the government of the former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.

"People who took to the streets were supporters of Saad al-Hariri's movement, mainly Sunnis. they were protesting the death and killing of a Sunni cleric and his bodyguard in northern Lebanon," Khodr said. The clashes erupted hours after Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Wahid, a Sunni Muslim cleric, and Muhammed Hussein Miraib, both members of the March 14 alliance, were shot in their car near Tripoli on Sunday as they "sped through a Lebanese army checkpoint without stopping". The fighting, some of the worst in Beirut in years, exacerbated deep political and sectarian divisions, as fears mounted that the conflict in neighbouring Syria was spilling across the border.

Lebanon's new wild card: Shaker al-Barjawi For more than a year, battlelines have been clearly drawn between pro-Bashar al-Assad and anti-Assad politicians in Lebanon, with the March 14 Alliance desperate to see regime change in Syria, and Hezbollah and its allies willing to fight until curtain-fall with Syrian officialdom. On Arabic satellite talk shows, members of the two camps had blasted at each other for months, once even getting into a fist-fight live on air. Last week, pro-Syrian regime and anti-Syrian regime factions

clashed with arms in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, prompting Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to advise their citizens from traveling to Lebanon, and calling on those already in the country to leave. On Sunday, Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Wahed, a prominent Sunni cleric affiliated with ex-prime minister Saad al-Hariri, was shot dead at a checkpoint in Akkar in northern Lebanon, along with his bodyguard, when his car reportedly failed to stop at a military checkpoint. The cleric was heading to the city of Halba to participate in a sit-in against the Syrian regime, staged by Hariri's Future Movement.

Iran Is Seeking Lebanon Stake as Syria Totters: Iran’s eagerness to shower money on Lebanon when its own finances are being squeezed by sanctions is the latest indication of just how worried Tehran is at the prospect that Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, could fall. Iran relies on Syria as its bridge to the Arab world, and as a crucial strategic partner in confronting Israel. But the Arab revolts have shaken Tehran’s calculations, with Mr. Assad unable to vanquish an uprising that is in its 15th month.

Iran’s ardent courtship of the Lebanese government indicates that Tehran is scrambling to find a replacement for its closest Arab ally, politicians, diplomats and analysts say. It is not only financing public projects, but also seeking to forge closer ties through cultural, military and economic agreements. The challenge for Iran’s leaders is that many Lebanese — including the residents of Tannourine, the site of the proposed hydroelectric dam — squirm in that embrace. They see Iran’s gestures not as a show of good will, but as a stealth cultural and military colonization.

With the return of Putin to the Russian Presidency I am again very concerned and see an end to a partner country whose leaders words and actions we can trust and a return to a confrontational relationship with Russia. I do not like the man, I do not trust the man, and I am very concerned as to which direction Russia and the United States are headed now and at a time when China is surging militarily.

Watching what is happening in Syria and Iran at this point it looks like Russia and China are going to unite at least until the shit hits the fan and it will. Russia is going to go to the limit to allow Syria to slaughter its own. At that point China I am hoping will start backing the US I hope.

Forget any thoughts of a peace deal working. Assad calls the protesters and peace workers terrorists and promises to stamp them out. This has barely begun!

We are going to get dragged into this rest assured and you can't really think at least Russia and Iran will not come out in the open: I remember saying from day one that it would take almost the whole military to defect before they would have a chance and now that we know how involved Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are in the slaughtering that is going on around the country that is beginning to look like the beginning of their fight.

You have to be very concerned about what is happening in Syria especially. Russia, China, and Iran are not going to allow Syria to fall to Democracy. What we saw after the voter fraud in Iran was mild compared to what the IRG will do if this movement spreads to Iran. I really wish Bashar would step down but Iran is the elephant in the room any way you look at it. The total middle east breakdown we have written about numerous times is well under way. We can only hope we keep it from erupting into WW3.

In closing: You know Putin just got himself reelected as President, he did this so he could be at the helm of Russia as he like me knows 100% that world war is our future. He plans on marshaling China who is rapidly building a more formidable military and whoever he can to take on US hegemony.Russia watched helplessly as we had our way in Libya. Putin blames what is happening in Syria on our interference and Libya for training the protesters to fight against Bashar Al-Assad. Russia and Iran will not let this be another Libya but?

Putin is going to do everything possible to keep us from helping the Syrian people and I really feel for them. I do not see this going down the way Libya did and Iran and Russia are going to make sure it does not. I am afraid the Syrian people are going to be sacrificed, sacrificed in what is merely an opening salvo in this the wars for future dominance. God help us!

* We now know Iran and probably Russia are preparing for Syria to fall to the protesters or at the very least into total disarray for years. Proof of that is a renewed effort to replace Syria with Lebanon as the new vanguard against what is viewed as US hegemony in this war for middle east and future world dominance.

James Joiner
Gardner, Ma

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