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Syria builds fortifications in Lebanon, Syrian citizens told to leave

Posted by Atilla89 on July 10, 2007

I didn’t even realise this, but apparently Syria has just started to build fortifications on the Lebanon-Syria border, some going 3km into Lebanese territory. If the IDF went even 1cm in Lebanese territory then there would be outcry’s of ‘invasion’, ‘unwarranted aggression’. But when Syria does this, the world barely shrugs.

Syrian troops on Thursday reportedly have penetrated three kilometers into Lebanese territories, taking up positions in the mountains near Yanta in east Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. The daily Al Mustaqbal, citing sources who confirmed the cross-border penetration, did not say when the procedure in the Fahs Hill overlooking Deir al-Ashaer in the Rashaya province took place.

The sources said Syrian troops, backed by bulldozers, were fortifying positions “in more than one area” along the Lebanese border, erecting earth mounds and digging “hundreds” of trenches and individual bunkers. Syria on Wednesday reopened the Joussia-Qaa border post with Lebanon, but two crossings stayed closed.

Syria’s state news agency SANA had said the closure of Jussia-Qaa on June 20 would stay in place “until calm has returned to northern Lebanon,” where the Lebanese army has been locked in gunbattles with militants from Fatah al-Islam.

This is apparently because Syria believes that the currant political crisis Lebanon will turn violent by July 15th (Syria is currently pulling out its citizens from Lebanon).

Reports of Syria Instructing its Citizens to Leave Lebanon by July 15

On July 5, 2007, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported that Syrian authorities had instructed all Syrian citizens residing in Lebanon to return to their country by July 15, 2007. [2] The next day, the Israeli Arab daily Al-Sinara similarly reported, on the authority of a Lebanese source close to Damascus, that Syria was planning to remove its citizens from Lebanon. [3] Also on July 5, the Lebanese daily Al-Liwa reported rumors that Syrian workers were leaving Lebanon at the request of the Syrian authorities. [4] In addition, the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra reported that Syrian universities would accept Syrian students who were leaving Lebanon due to the instability there. [5]

These sources offered a number of explanations for Syria’s calls for its citizens to leave Lebanon. IRNA tied these calls to Lebanese President Emil Lahoud’s ultimatum to the Lebanese opposition to decide on how to deal with the crisis in Lebanon, and also claimed that the calls were connected to Syria’s intention to mobilize reserve units in expectation of an attack on it by Israel. On the other hand, the Lebanese daily Al-Liwa tied Syria’s calls to the upcoming additional report by the International Investigation Commission into the Al-Hariri assassination, which is expected next week.

Get the rest of the story from MEMRI – they have more stuff from other Arab sources. In the meantime, the future still looks grim from Lebanon.


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