Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lebanon - the front line in the US-Syrian confrontation

The spectre of civil war looms over Lebanon. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah has threatened to mobilize his supporters onto the streets by the 13th of this month if there is no agreement on the formation of a unity government. Lebanese defence minister Murr has countered by calling up 20,000 Lebanese army troops to thwart any possible attempt to take over Beirut's public institutions.

Each side has its international supporters who are hoping to profit from this crisis. Both Washington and Damascus have accused one another of interference in Lebanon. While this may just be brinkmanship between two hostile countries seeking to assert their regional influence, for Lebanese stability it could well spell disaster.

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