Friday, August 27, 2010

In Lebanon: From Argument Over Parking To Syria-Iran Proxy War?

On Tuesday, Narharnet described a clash between Hezbollah and Al-Ahbash in Beirut as an argument over a parking space near a mosque. The Jerusalem Post reported that the fighting extended to Hezbollah setting fire to an Al-Ahbash mosque.

Now, according to Ya Libnan, there is a possibility that the clash was more than just an argument:
The clash was described by some analysts as a proxy war between Iran and Syria over the control of Lebanon.
Hezbollah according to analysts is trying to out-maneuver Syria in Lebanon…. Hezbollah has reportedly become the principle bulwark resisting a Syrian comeback, because the party wants to preserve Lebanon for Iran.

This new proxy war between Iran and Syria according to analysts will result in new political alignments in Lebanon. Amal leader Speaker Nabih is reportedly expected to side with Syria . The question is : Will Aoun now decided to jump ship and side with Syria too? Perhaps, a Ya Libnan analyst said since unfortunately no one seems to side with Lebanon.
If true, this would be the fulfillment of what the Obama administration has wanted, weaning Syria away from Iran--though not through negotiations and talk from the Obama Administration, but through the conflicting designs of Syria and Iran over Lebanon. After all, Syria sees Lebanon as part of Syria, while Iran sees it--via the Hizbollah terrorist group it created, as an extension of its control.

Of course, the fighting could be connected with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) that is investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri--and the possibility that Hezbollah was behind it. That is what Naharnet is reporting:
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said the latest clashes between Hizbullah and al-Ahbash gunmen in Borj Abi Haidar were part of the organized campaign to weaken Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

The clashes were also aimed at targeting the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the logic of justice, Geagea told al-Liwaa daily in remarks published Friday.
Either way, Change and Reform bloc MP Naji Gharios is calling for Beirut to be made into an arms free city--a good idea, but that still leaves the rest of Lebanon.

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