Saturday, March 05, 2005

Assad Secretly Deploys Joint Iranian-Syrian Units in Lebanon

It appears that Assad won't play ball here. Now that the Int'l community can actually agree on an issue, look for massive political pressure to be applied to Assad...
Assad’s decision to redeploy Syrian troops eastward to the Beqaa Valley up to Syrian border sidestepped the issue. The Syrian ruler did not promise to pull a single Syrian troop or secret agent out of Lebanon. He also declared for good measure that Syria's role in the country would not end with a military withdrawal (which he did not promise.)

DEBKAfile’s Washington sources reveal the Bush administration’s decision to act for Syria’s total international isolation. US National Security Council head Stephen Hadley notified European Washington-based envoys of moves to cut off Damascus’ international banking ties and the flow of international funds to and from Syria through Lebanese banks. The volume of these transfers is such that it could bankrupt Syria.

Hadley told the Europeans that UN Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen would take off Sunday on a 12-day tour of Europe, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Gulf emirates to finalize the US-Arab-European consensus on international sanctions against Syria.

On March 17, Larsen will visit Damascus to give Assad his last chance to implement Security Council resolution 1559 in full, or else face up to UN sanctions. Chirac has already ordered French ties with Damascus severed at all government levels.

While the U.S. and rest of the Int'l community play musical chairs to get their ducks in a row to announce sanctions, Assad looks as if he is prepping for war with Iran at his side...
The fleet of Iranian military transports secretly offloaded complete elite units for operating, maintaining and guarding a sophisticated system of Iranian electronic warning stations, radar networks and anti-aircraft missiles to be deployed in Syria and Lebanon. More than 1,000 Iranian soldiers and technicians and 600 Revolutionary Guards commandos took up positions on the South Lebanese border with Israel, along the Syrian-Israeli Golan frontier to the south and up Syria’s Mediterranean coastline to the west. They also spread out along Syria’s northeastern frontier with Iraqi Kurdistan and its southern border with Iraq’s al Qaim and al Anbar provinces.