Friday, May 25, 2007
Lebanon - Phares with the Latest Analysis [W.
Thomas Smith Jr.]
Walid Phares with more analysis exclusive to The Tank:
The Grand Syro-Iranian spring offensive has
begun in Lebanon. The design is to drag the Lebanese Army into
side - but costly - fights with group A, while group B is
preparing itself for the next stage, possibly a summer offensive.
There is a consensus among terrorism
analysts in Lebanon — including those within the Lebanese Government
and the Cedars Revolution – that elements within Syrian intelligence have
been tasked with instigating or initiating a battle in Tripoli
between Fatah al Islam and the Lebanese Army in hopes that
Lebanese Army units would falter and Lebanese-Palestinian fighting
The second stage of this spring
offensive is to push elements of Jund al Sham (another al
Qaeda affiliate) into the southern Palestinian camp of Miyeh-Miyeh
near Sidon. The objective is to open another front for Group A: that
is the Salafists against the same Lebanese Armed Forces.
Ultimately, the Syro-Iranians hope to see the Lebanese armed
forces engaged in fighting in multiple enclaves from Tripoli to
Sidon, and perhaps to the Bekaa.
This terror plan is to drain the
operational forces of the Lebanese Army by forcing the LA to engage
enemy forces in multiple locations.
Such a situation would quickly deplete
the munitions of regular forces and dangerously stretch Lebanese
Aware that 10,000 soldiers of the Lebanese armed forces are
already deployed south of the Litani in order to implement
UN resolution 1701
along with UNIFIL forces [United
Nations Interim Force in Lebanon],
the joint Syrian-Hezbollah war room has in fact pushed the Salafist
Jihadists toward the objective of spreading and dividing Lebanese
forces across the Lebanese territories. The long-term objective is
to "kill" the central force of the Lebanese Army and prevent it from
being reinforced by its own reserve forces.
By early summer, Group B — composed of Hezbollah and all
other pro-Syrian militias would join the fray against the Lebanese
government and seize ground in Beirut and throughout the remainder
of the country.
Hence, the Lebanese Army confrontation with al Qaeda in
Tripoli — and eventually in Sidon — should take into consideration
Group B preparing for future action.
Besides, when it comes to Hezbollah, many LA soldiers who are under
the influence of (or who fear) the Iranian-backed militia might quit.
So, what we see right now, is a Lebanese Army engaging the
northern front with al Qaeda. The Lebanese soldiers have very little
equipment, and the may possibly have to engage the Bin Laden
elements in the south, soon.
In our estimation, the international community (including the
U.S.) must have an emergency plan for strategic assistance of the
Lebanese government against Group A now. And it must expect attacks
from Group B in the very near future.
Yes, the Lebanese troops, with their M16 rifles, M113 troop
transports, and outdated M48 tanks, are showing courage against the
most lethal terrorists on the face of the earth. But courage alone
is not enough.
Washington must act fast to enable the Lebanese Government to
achieve the following:
Contain the terrorists in the Tripoli
Contain the terrorists in the Miyeh-Miyeh
Regroup central LA forces to protect the
government and the Cedars Revolution from a potential summer
offensive by Hezbollah
Integrate an international plan under
disarm the militias and defend the borders against Syria.
More from Walid
05/25 08:04 PM