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Iran Editorial: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel `Drag` Lebanon into Syrian Crisis
Jomhuri-ye Eslami Online
Monday, December 10, 2012

A Sunni gunman runs and holds his gun as he moves his position during clashes in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, on Sunday. (Hussein Malla/Associated Press)

Editorial: “The Evil Triangle of Sedition in Lebanon

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate!

These days Lebanon is pregnant with new events and a new conspiracy is being hatched against the territorial integrity of that country and against the Islamic and anti-Zionist resistance. During the past few days, the two sides of Lebanon, namely Tripoli that is known as the capital of the north and Seida that is known as the capital of the south of Lebanon, have been turned into time bombs, and at any moment a plot that is being prepared in the two geographical poles of Lebanon may unsettle the domestic climate in that country.

During the past few days, Tripoli in the north of Lebanon has once again witnessed bloody clashes that have killed or wounded 100 people. Most of the victims have been ordinary people, the Alawites and the personnel of the Lebanese armed forces who had been targeted by Salafi marksmen. Recent political and military events in the north of Lebanon point to the existence of an extensive conspiracy against the security of that region, whose aim is to drag Lebanon into the Syrian clashes and to extend the crisis to Lebanon and to place the Hizbullah in the midst of the fire.

Tripoli is situated in the north of Lebanon and is in Syria`s neighborhood, and for a long time it has been caught up in the Syrian crisis, like the links of a chain, and it has been turned into an arena for clashes among various groups, as well as a base for sending Salafi mercenaries to inside Syria and for providing weapons to (President) Bashar Asad`s opponents. Due to its proximity to the Syrian borders and due to its population composition, for a long time this city has been a place for housing the Alawites who have had close links with the Syrian government, and most of them have settled around Jabal al-Mohsen district. However, from some time ago, the Salafis began to settle in Bab al-Tabbaneh district, and with the support of foreign countries they have set up camps for training terrorists and sending them to Syria, and these activities have resulted in arousing the sensitivities of the people in Tripoli and the Lebanese armed forces.

Exactly six months ago, Shawi al-Mowlavi, one of the leaders of the Salafis in north of Lebanon, who has very close ties to (Saudi) Arabia, Qatar and Zionist agents in the region, paved the way for ethnic clashes in that city and attracted the media`s attention to himself, but he was confronted by 14 March Group. After a long period of tension and a climate of fear and terror that had dominated the city, various news sources reported that after the killing of a number of Salafis who had left Tripoli to join the Syrian opposition forces, in order to take revenge for their deaths the Salafis in Tripoli started killing the Alawites who live in that city and prepared the plot to empty Tripoli of the Alawites who support the Syrian system (regime) and to put an end to the rule of the Lebanese army in that region, so that ultimately they could achieve the goal of establishing an autonomous Salafi province in the north of Lebanon and on the neighborhood of the Syrian border. According to informed sources, the main goal of those Salafi groups who enjoy the financial and political backing of Qatar, Arabia and the Zionist regime is to set up safe regions for Syrian terrorists inside Lebanon and to extend the scope of the Syrian clashes to Lebanon and to influence (put pressure on) the Islamic Resistance.

On the other hand, simultaneously with those events, from four months ago the leader of the Salafis in the south of Lebanon, a man called Ahmad al-Asir, who is known in the region as one of the agents of Arabia, on the excuse that the Resistance in south of Lebanon was carrying arms, began hiring a number of mercenaries and distributing different types of weapons among the people. In a move to create disorder, he called on his supporters to close the Seida-Beirut highway. He even went a step further, and by misusing Hizbullah`s self-restraint that was aimed at not turning him into a political (influential) figure and trying to prevent ethnic and sectarian clashes, he announced that he would not allow the ceremonies marking the Ashura (the mourning ceremonies on Ashura, or the tenth day of the month of Muharram, the anniversary of Imam Husayn`s martyrdom) to be held in the south of Lebanon.

In less than six months, he set up various bases for providing military training to Wahhabi and Salafi mercenaries who had come to the south of Lebanon from different places, and by attracting financial and arms assistance from Arabia and Qatar he gave rise to a sedition, known as al-Asiriyya, by spending millions of (US) dollars in order to disrupt internal security in Lebanon and to give rise to sectarian sedition with the aim of weakening the Hizbullah.

In this way, at the moment, Lebanon is under pressure from the north and from the south, and as the result of a large number of weapons that are distributed on a daily basis by 14 March group among the Sunnis and the Christians, the sovereignty of Lebanon is being seriously threatened. Meanwhile, some (foreign) affiliated news networks are also busy fanning the flames of a sectarian sedition, which this time has appeared in the name of strengthening the Salafis in Lebanon.

Apart from violating the territorial integrity and the national unity of Lebanon that is the main aim of the evil triangle of Arabia, Qatar and the Zionist regime, confronting the daily-increasing strength of the Hizbullah and the Islamic Resistance is another aim of the enemies of Islam in the region. Today, the Zionists and reactionary Arab regimes are speaking of collecting the weapons of Hizbullah in the south of Lebanon while at the same time they are distributing a large number of weapons among the Sunnis and various Christian groups. In doing this, they have no other aim but to confront the Hizbullah and to weaken the Islamic Resistance and to sever the lines of communication between them.

Definitely it is impossible not to see a link between the activities of the evil triangle of Arabia, Qatar and the Zionist regime in Lebanon and the recent and former events in Tripoli in the north of Lebanon and the current developments in Seida. Behind the attempts of the Salafi movements who wish to set fire to the north and south of Lebanon one can clearly see the hidden hand of the regional enemies of Islam in order to put pressure on the Hizbullah and the Islamic Resistance.

(Description of Source: Tehran Jomhuri-ye Eslami Online in Persian -- Website of conservative daily officially licensed to Supreme Leader Khamene`i, but aligned with Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani;

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Syria`s civil war spills into Lebanon, 4 dead
Today`s Zaman Online
Monday, December 10, 2012

Free Syrian Army fighters carry the body of a fellow fighter during clashes in Aleppo on Thursday, August 16, 2012.

Syria`s civil war spilled over into neighboring Lebanon once again on Sunday, with gun battles in the northern city of Tripoli between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad`s regime that left four dead.

Nine Syrian judges and prosecutors also defected to the opposition. It was the latest setback for the regime, which appears increasingly embattled with rebels making gains in northern Syria and near Damascus, the capital.

The defecting judges posted a joint statement online urging others to join them and break ranks with Assad`s regime. There have been several high-level defections over the past year, including Assad`s former prime minister.

In Geneva, the United Nation`s Special Representative for Syria and the Arab League, Lakdhar Brahimi, met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns to discuss the crisis in Syria. They said in a joint statement that the situation in Syria was “bad and getting worse,” adding that a political process to end the conflict was “still necessary and still possible.”

Russia and the United States have argued bitterly over how to address the conflict, which began with peaceful protests against Assad in March 2011 and escalated into a civil war that has killed an estimated 40,000 people. Activists said another 45 were killed on Sunday.

The US has criticized Russia for shielding the Assad regime, while Moscow has accused Washington of encouraging the rebels and being intent on regime change.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia agreed to take part in the Geneva talks on condition there would be no demand for Assad to step down. Washington and its allies, including Turkey and Qatar, have repeatedly called on the Syrian president to step down to help stop the bloodshed.

“We are not conducting any negotiations on the fate of Assad,” Lavrov said, adding that the Americans were wrong to see Moscow as softening its position on Syria. “All attempts to portray things differently are unscrupulous, even for diplomats of those countries which are known to try to distort the facts in their favor.”

Addressing fears that Assad could use chemical weapons in a last-ditch effort to save his regime, Lavrov once again said the Syrian government has given assurances that it has no intention of ever using the weapons of mass destruction. He said the greatest threat is that they would fall into the hands of militants.

Russia`s foreign minister said that after he agreed to a US proposal to have his and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton`s deputies “brainstorm” on Syria, the Americans began to suggest that Russia was softening its position.

“No such thing,” Lavrov said. “We have not changed our position.”

He urged the international community to come together and “with one voice” to demand a cease-fire, return U.N. observers in bigger numbers and begin a political dialogue. Lavrov repeated that Russia was not wedded to Assad but believed that only the Syrians have the right to choose their leaders.

In Washington, a senior State Department official said the US remains willing to hold additional discussions in the weeks ahead, if it would help “advance the process of political transition that the people of Syria seek.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss Sunday`s meeting in Geneva with reporters.

Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani urged Assad to step down. With the rebels at the president`s doorstep in Damascus, he said, Assad knows the regime will fall.

“But how much killing and destruction does he want before this inevitable outcome?” Hamad said after an Arab League meeting in the Qatari capital, Doha.

In Lebanon, fighting between pro-and anti-Assad gunmen flared as bodies of three Lebanese, who were killed after crossing into Syria to fight in the civil war were brought back home for burial, the state-run National News Agency said.

Four people were killed and 12 were wounded in the gunfights, the agency said. Two Lebanese soldiers were also injured, the Lebanese Armed Forces command said.

Syria civil war has often spilled into neighboring countries including Turkey, Lebanon and Israel, raising concerns of a wider war in the volatile region.

Lebanon, which Syria dominated for decades, is particularly vulnerable to getting sucked into the crisis. The two countries share a porous border and a complex web of political and sectarian ties.

Syria`s opposition is dominated by members of the Sunni Muslim minority. Assad`s regime is predominantly Alawite, an offshoot of Shiite islam.

Tripoli has been the scene of frequent sectarian clashes between the Alawite and Sunni Muslim communities. Last week, the Lebanese army sent additional troops to Tripoli to try to prevent clashes that broke out over reports that 17 Lebanese men were killed after entering Syria to fight alongside the rebels.

In Syria, fighting between opposition fighters and regime troops was concentrated in northern idlib province, in the Damascus suburbs and in Aleppo, Syria`s largest city, according to the Britain-based opposition activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least 45 people were killed in fighting Sunday, said the group, which relies on reports from activists on the ground.

Syria`s state-run SANA news agency said four people were killed when a rocket slammed into the Armenian quarter of the city of Homs. SANA said “terrorists” were behind the attack that also injured several others. Damascus refers to rebels as terrorists and mercenaries of Western and Gulf countries.

The Observatory also said rebels have made significant advances in the battle over a sprawling military base west of Aleppo after heavy clashes with regime troops Sunday.

(Description of Source: Istanbul Today`s Zaman Online in English -- Website of English-language daily published by the Zaman media group, supportive of Fethullah Gulen community; URL:

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.


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