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May 25, 2011

Syria in Lebanon - again?

Firas Mansour

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The recent developments and media leaks from Syria/Lebanon/Israel indicate a potential imminent storming by the Syrian forces of Northern Lebanon.

As a response to losing Egypt, perhaps for good, the US and its allies seem to be capitalizing on the current situation in Syria; this includes US allies in Lebanon. An overthrow of the regime in Syria would have also been a sweet response to the overthrow of Hariri's government a few months ago. 

A tantalizing prospect chasing which could potentially result in the elimination of the pro-American Sunni powerhouse in Lebanon be it politically, or even physically, in the form of another sacking of Tripoli. The pro-American Sunni camp has been drawn in too far already, perhaps to the point of no-return. They have already lost this hand, without even seeing what cards the Syrian apparatus has yet to unleash: This has never been pretty before and has no reason to be pretty now.  It will now be done, with brutal and non –relenting force in which many heads could roll to reflect the red lines that have been crossed.

With the insurgency in Syria all but dealt with, (with minimal losses this time compared to the Hama incidents 30 some years ago, both in terms of lives lost and in terms of regime legitimacy), the biggest potential losers, now and in the days to come are going to be none other than the forces of 14 March in Lebanon as well as the Jordanian regime: In this duel at dawn, both have taken their shots at Assad's apparatus, now they must await the Syrian return shots and hope somehow, for a miraculously lucky miss...Assad wields some heavy guns in this regard, yet to be exposed.

Fortune favours the bold, not the grossly miscalculating, for a lack of a better word.

For whatever reason, it seems that the movement in Syria to overthrow Assad has as much momentum left as the dying horse that has been kicked many times over already, every time draining the remaining shreds of credibility of gulf based News Agencies, at least in the eyes of many.

A very strong message was sent along those lines during the 63rd  Nakba anniversary border protests, of what the pro-American camp can hope to contend with, if they object too much to the sacking of those who were involved in destabilizing the Syrian regime.  A regime which has much to do to reform before the next tide takes shape, but seems to be now all but a rather intact, yet injured bear.

There however, could be room for a "mild" response still, if a hefty price in terms of concessions in Lebanon can somehow be exacted, and this if the Iranian leash can manage to keep the injured Syrian bear at bay.

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