Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Assad: UN Stay Out of Bekaa

Assad speaks:

Syrian President Bashar Assad rejected on Tuesday Israel's demands to deploy the international peacekeeping force in Lebanon along the Syrian border as well.

Speaking to a Dubai-based television station, he warned that such a presence would "harm Lebanon's autonomy" and would be considered an act of hostility.
Ha. Bashar protecting Lebanese autonomy? He is protecting his smuggling profits from the Bekaa drug trade. See: Syria Has a Problem for details.
The Syrian president also rejected talks with Israel over an agreed-upon border between the two States until Israel would relinquish the Shaba Farms on the Israeli-Syrian-Lebanese border.

Still, he noted that the possibility for peace in the Middle East was still possible, although the window of opportunity could be closed within a few weeks or months.
Interesting negotiating style. First give me the car, then we will negotiate the price.

I guess now that the war is over Syria is claiming Shaba again. Note also that Assad is predicting a resumption of hostilities in at most months.

Update: 23 Aug '06 1715z

Assad is getting hysterical.
Syria has threatened to close its border with Lebanon if UN peacekeepers are deployed along the border, Finland's foreign minister said Wednesday.

"They will close their borders for all traffic in case UN troops will be deployed along the Lebanon-Syria border," Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said after meeting his Syrian counterpart, Walid Moallem, in Helsinki.
First off they don't want any troops on the border, but if they come Syria threatens to close the border. This is very strange. Perhaps as more news comes it it will make more sense. Any theories?

Update: 23 Aug '06 1948z

Donald Sensing at Winds of Change discusses Assad's concern for the Lebanese.


Donald Sensing said...

He'll close the border to all traffic except that which serves his purposes, such as, let me see, resupplying Hezbollah.

M. Simon said...

The question I have is this:

wouldn't commercial traffic be a good cover for rocket and other war material resupply?

If he is only moving war material doesn't that make it easier to interdict?