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Syria is soon to take steps to withdraw its military forces from Lebanon

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allemand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 08:58 AM
Original message
Syria is soon to take steps to withdraw its military forces from Lebanon
Edited on Mon Feb-21-05 09:01 AM by allemand
15:26 Arab League Chief Secretary: Syria is soon to take steps to withdraw its military forces from Lebanon

Syria says it will withdraw troops from the Lebanon
By Jenny Booth, Times Online

Syria says it is willing to withdraw its troops from neighbouring Lebanon, after fifteen years of effective military occupation.

Amr Mussa, the head of the Arab League, said that Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian President, had assured him this morning that Syria was prepared to fulfil its obligations in the Taef accords that ended Lebanon's civil war in 1995.

Syria's change in stance, after ignoring years of international diplomatic pressure, comes as the Lebanese people themselves turn on their Syrian occupiers, blaming them for the assassination last week of their former prime minister, Rafik Hariri.

"During our meeting, President Assad expressed his firm desire, more than once, to continue implementing the Taef accord and to withdraw from Lebanon in keeping with this agreement," Mussa said after talks with Assad in Damascus.

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necso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. It makes a certain sense
to move those troops back to Syria -- from a strictly military point of view.
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allemand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. Interesting in this context: Drug link to Beirut blast?
Drug link to Beirut blast
Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv

THE murder of Rafik alHariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, may have been the work of Syrian intelligence officers trying to protect their share of Lebanons $1 billion-a-year drugs trade.

Middle Eastern security sources have claimed that they took revenge on Hariri, who was agitating for the departure of Syrias 14,000 soldiers. (...)

The theory received backing yesterday from a Kuwaiti newspaper which blamed the killing on leading figures in the Syrian military.

The sources said that those behind the assassination may have hoped that the resulting chaos would then prevent Syria from implementing the United Nations resolution 1559, which requires it to withdraw its occupation force.

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allemand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Jack Straw: 'High level of suspicion' Syria is tied to Hariri killing
U.K.: 'High level of suspicion' Syria is tied to Hariri killing
By News Agencies

BRUSSELS - British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Monday there was a "high level of suspicion" that Syria was involved in last week's bomb attack that killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

The comments came as the European Union was set to join a call by the United States for an international probe into the killing of Hariri.

A draft communique of EU foreign ministers called for "an international investigation without delay to shed light on the circumstances and those responsible for this attack."

Syria is seen as high on the agenda of an EU-U.S. summit on Wednesday, and Straw said Europe and Washington saw eye to eye on Damascus.

A "high level of suspicion", but no further explanation.

Maybe they are trying to construct a link between the secular regime in Damascus and Islamists in Iraq:


LONDON -- The assassins of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri were said to have been trained in and sent from Iraq.

Lebanese investigators said the assassins were recruited by Sunni groups in Iraq linked to Syria, which has provided fighters and financing for the insurgency against the U.S.-led coalition. They said the assassins were trained in Iraq and entered Syria and later Lebanon with equipment required for the suicide bombing in Beirut on Feb. 14.

Rachid Mezher, the investigating judge of the Hariri killing, said the suicide bomber was a Palestinian trained in Iraq and recruited by Ansar Al Islam. Ansar has been linked to Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi, and the suspected bomber was identified as Ahmed Abu Adas.

"We know that Adas had Saudi Arabian nationality and used his passport to travel to Iraq and Syria," Mezher said. "The man converted to strict Muslim beliefs two years ago and returned to Lebanon only recently."

Did the Islamists forget about Hama? And Zarqawi simply hates Shiites: How likely is it that he collaborates with Alawites?
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SitSheva Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
3. It's about time!
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frankieT Donating Member (375 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. right and maybe it will give ideas to other "occupiers" in the region -eom
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Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-05 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. This is from your CIA Factbook
"Lebanon has made progress toward rebuilding its political institutions since 1991 and the end of the devastating 15-year civil war. Under the Ta'if Accord - the blueprint for national reconciliation - the Lebanese have established a more equitable political system, particularly by giving Muslims a greater say in the political process while institutionalizing sectarian divisions in the government. Since the end of the war, the Lebanese have conducted several successful elections, most of the militias have been weakened or disbanded, and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have extended central government authority over about two-thirds of the country. Hizballah, a radical Shia organization, retains its weapons. Syria maintains about 16,000 troops in Lebanon, based mainly east of Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley. Syria's troop deployment was legitimized by the Arab League during Lebanon's civil war and in the Ta'if Accord. Damascus justifies its continued military presence in Lebanon by citing Beirut's requests and the failure of the Lebanese Government to implement all of the constitutional reforms in the Ta'if Accord. Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000, however, encouraged some Lebanese groups to demand that Syria withdraw its forces as well. The passage of UNSCR 1559 in early October 2004 - a resolution calling for Syria to withdraw from Lebanon and end its interference in Lebanese affairs - further emboldened Lebanese groups opposed to Syria's presence in Lebanon."
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