By pumping up the Lebanese crisis to explosion level,
DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources:
Our sources outline the worst-case scenario - failing a breakthrough in
The outgoing pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud president will exit the Baabde palace Saturday, Nov. 24, and transfer his powers to the Lebanese chief of staff Gen. Michel Suleiman, who is considered moderately pro-Syrian and a Hizballah supporter.
The army will then rally behind the general rather than the pro-Western prime minister Fouad Siniora. This will leave Siniora with the option of calling on the backing of the Sunni militias led by majority leader Saad Hariri, Walid Jumblatt’s Druze forces and Samir Geagea’s Christian Phalangists. This bloc will find itself ranged against the bulk of the Lebanese army and Hizballah’s armed forces.
All the ingredients for turmoil and civil strife will then be in place, with the advantage held by the anti-West grouping in terms of numbers, training and weaponry, lavishly supplied by
President George W. Bush and every world leader he can rope in have been engaged in frenzied diplomacy in the last 24 hours to fend off this development. A conflagration in
Russian president Vladimir Putin in particular has lent his weight to
Nicolas Sarkozy also phoned Assad, the first time a French president communicated with the Syrian president in the two years since the Hariri assassination. He too drew no response. Many of
Another caller to the presidential palace in
For the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group,
Israel’s prime minister would be better occupied dealing with this new security crisis on its borders, Israeli security sources tell DEBKAfile, than posing with Mahmoud Abbas at a photo-op in America.
Arab League foreign ministers, called into session Thursday, Nov. 22 to decide on a delegation to the US-promoted Middle East conference, postponed their
The Middle East special envoy Tony Blair traveled to
Source: DEBKA file.