May 29, 2014

NOTHING STRANGE ABOUT RECOGNIZING YOUR ALLIES:

Strange Bedfellows and a Strange Calm in Lebanon : As the Syrian war rages next door, an unlikely alliance between Hezbollah and the U.S.-funded Lebanese security forces is keeping the violence at bay. (SUSANNAH GEORGE, MAY 20, 2014, Foreign Policy)

On April 17, the Lebanese Army sent a communiqué to newsrooms across the country announcing the arrest of Bilal Kayed, a member of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a Sunni extremist group with ties to al Qaeda. Lebanese military intelligence took full credit for the arrest, hailing it as "an important milestone" in its struggle against a growing insurgent campaign that had terrorized predominantly Shiite neighborhoods and towns with car bombs and rocket attacks.

The true story, however, was more complicated. The operation leading to the arrest -- like a number of similar operations preceding it -- was the product of months of intensified cooperation between Lebanon's rival security agencies and the paramilitary group Hezbollah, according to Lebanese security sources. [...]

The story of the last several months, however, is that the Syrian war has stopped spilling over into Lebanon. There has not been a car-bomb attack in the country since late March, while rocket fire by anti-Assad insurgents on areas considered sympathetic to Hezbollah have also decreased significantly. 

The violence appears to have been thwarted by an alignment of interests among some unlikely allies: Lebanon's Sunni political elite, the United States, and Hezbollah.

Posted by at May 29, 2014 2:18 PM
  
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