July 09, 2007

Possible Eruption of Violent Crisis in Lebanon After July 15

Qualifiable predictions via MEMRI:

In the past few days, Arab and Iranian media reports have pointed to the possibility that Lebanon's current political crisis may become a violent conflict after July 15, 2007.

It should be noted that certain international events concerning Lebanon and Syria are expected in mid-July, specifically:

1. The U.N. Security Council session scheduled for July 16, 2007, which is to discuss a report by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on the progress in the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701. This discussion will be devoted in part to the report submitted by a delegation sent by Ki-Moon to the Syria-Lebanon border to assess border supervision. According to the London daily Al-Hayat, the delegation's recommendations included the stationing of international experts in border control to aid Lebanon's security apparatuses in monitoring the Syria-Lebanon border. [1]

2. Between July 15 and 17, 2007, the submission of another report to the U.N. Security Council, by the head of the International Investigation Commission into the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri, Serge Brammertz.

The following are excerpts from these Arab and Iranian media reports:

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.

Click here to read more translations about The Lebanese Opposition: After Mid-July, We Will Establish a Second Government in Lebanon, Al-Mustaqbal Warns of Syrian-Iranian Plan for Coup in Lebanon, Hizbullah Arms Itself in Preparation for the Next Stage; One of Its Military Targets May Be Beirut, Change in Iranian Policy: From Preventing Civil War in Lebanon to Adopting Syria's Position.