10,000 soldiers massed along border
New concerns are being raised by the possibility that Syria may launch troops into Lebanon by using a pretext of concern over assaults on a Lebanese faction sympathetic to the Syrian leadership, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Confirmed reports reveal that there are some 10,000 Syrian special forces troops massed on the northern border of Lebanon.
A small Alawite faction near the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, has been in repeated gun fights with Sunni militants. The area’s majority population is Sunni.
The Alawites are of the same tribe as Syrian President Bashar Assad. Most of Syria’s top security and military officials also are Alawite.
The concern is that Syria forcibly would annex the northern part of Lebanon to protect the Alawites, an offshoot of Shia Islam which is associated closely with the Syrian-supported Shiite Hezbollah. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah has been fighting the Sunnis in support of the Alawite minority in northern Lebanon.
The Alawites in Lebanon became influential while Syrian troops occupied Lebanon until 2005. The Syrian troops left following the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
The Syrian opposition, led by Hariri’s son, Saad Hariri, places the blame of the father’s assassination on the Syrian regime. The investigation to determine responsibility for Hariri’s assassination still is under way.
Saad Hariri heads the Sunni group that is fighting with the Alawites in Tripoli. In early September, Hariri, who heads the Sunni Future Movement in Lebanon, recently held talks with the head of the Alawite faction, Ali Eid.
Eid is pro-Syrian while Hariri’s Future Movement heads the anti-Syrian movement in Lebanon.
Tensions in Tripoli, however, have precluded any return to political stability in Lebanon despite efforts last May by Qatar to end a long power struggle between Hariri’s anti-Syrian coalition and the pro-Syrian Hezbollah.
The 10,000 Syrian special forces troops massed on the Syrian-Lebanese border are in positions on the northern Lebanese border in the hills overlooking the El-Kabir River, which forms the northern boundary of the two countries.
Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin is the premium, online intelligence news source edited and published by the founder of WND.