Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lebanese PM opens door to surrender. Army grants two key Hizballah demands

The end for Lebanon as a democratic state? Islamists supported by Iran strangle Lebanon with Syria's complicity and the indifference of the Christian world.

May 10, 2008, 11:23 PM (GMT+02:00)

After four days of fierce fighting in which at least 37 people died, the Lebanese army revoked two government measures in obedience to Hizballah demands: the Shiite group's independent telecommunication network will not be shut down and the pro-Hizballah Brig. Gen Wafiq Shqeir would keep his job as Beirut international airport head of security.

In a broadcast speech, Saturday, May 10, the pro-Western prime minister Fouad Siniora asked the army to defuse the crisis after Hizballah seized control of western Beirut, besieged the government center and attacked pro-government Sunni centers across Lebanon. Government loyalists found no support from Sinora's powerful backers, the United States, France or even Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The pro-Western government was therefore forced to back down.

This means its acceptance of Hizballah's communication system in central, southern and eastern Lebanon and its direct link to Syrian and Iranian command centers in Damascus; and the Shiite group's Beirut headquarters online communications link to its Revolutionary Guards bosses in Tehran.

DEBKAfile's military sources report: Triumphant, the Hizballah chief Hassan Hasrallah will be a more dangerous enemy than ever. The army rather than the government laid down the condition that Hizballah withdraw from the Sunni districts of Beirut and the rest of the country and remove its armed men from the streets.

Even so, a government minister remarked that the deal awaits approval by Hizballah leaders and the Iranian ambassador in Beirut. It is far from certain that the Shiite terrorists will give up the territory they gained in the last four days.

Also in question are the roadblocks on highways and the shutdown of Beirut air and sea ports.

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