July 26, 2017

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

Lebanon Is Another Name for Hezbollah (Tony Badran, July 26, 2017, Tablet)

During his joint press conference with Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Tuesday, President Trump gave expression to the inherent paradox in America's Lebanon policy. On the one hand, the president voiced appreciation and support for Lebanon and its Armed Forces (LAF) for their supposed "impressive" role in the fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda. On the other hand, he had strong words for Hezbollah, calling it a menace to the Lebanese state and the entire region and noting its role in fueling the catastrophe in Syria. Specifically, the president added, the group threatens to start a conflict with Israel, as it continues to increase its arsenal in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

At the same time Hariri is visiting Washington, however, the LAF is taking part in a joint military operation with Hezbollah in northeastern Lebanon, targeting a pocket of Syrian armed groups--including the group formerly known as the Nusra Front--on the Syrian border. Hezbollah, of course, controls the Lebanese government and dictates the operations of its armed forces. Indeed, it was Hezbollah that laid out the battle plans for the current operation in northeastern Lebanon, including what role the LAF would play in it. And it was Hezbollah's chief, Hassan Nasrallah, who announced the impending start of the joint operation with the LAF during a televised appearance a couple of weeks ago.

The Christian/Shi'a alliance rolls on....

Posted by at July 26, 2017 2:07 PM

  

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