Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Syria Closes Border Crossing

USAToday writes:
Syrian authorities on Wednesday closed a border crossing with northeastern Lebanon without giving a reason, Lebanese security officials said.

The closure of the Qaa-Jousseh crossing left only one land border crossing between the two countries open — the main Beirut-Damascus link at Masnaa in the eastern Bekaa Valley.

Syrian authorities closed two other crossing with northern Lebanon after the May 20 outbreak of fighting in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared where Lebanon troops are battling Fatah Islam militants.

At the time, the Syrians said the two crossings were closed for safety reasons.

Since the Syrian troop withdrawal from Lebanon in 2005 under international pressure, Syria has used the flow of goods and people across the border as a pressure tactic against Lebanon, Lebanese opponents of Damascus have said.
This development comes as the Lebanese daily, An-Nahar, reports that 4 trucks carrying weapons and ammunition and trying to cross from Syria into Lebanon's Bekaa valley were intercepted by a Lebanese Army patrol. The paper reported that the trucks retreated back into Syrian territory. The smuggling attempt was reportedly made near the Dorris checkpoint, close to the city of Baalbek.

The border closure also comes as the Lebanese government continues to present evidence to the international community of Syrian smuggling of arms, supplies, and fighters to insurgents and terrorist cells in Lebanon.

An Arab League committee headed by the League's Secretary General, Amr Moussa, is in Lebanon discussing ways to strengthen the country's border security after Lebanon's acting Foreign Minister, Tarek Mitri, presented the League with proof of Syria's involvement in the various imported insurgencies and terrorist cells in the country. The committee also signaled its intent at trying its hand, again, at resolving the country's political deadlock. Amr Moussa's previous attempts at the endeavor finally resulted in his visiting Damascus only to declare that his hands were tied.

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From the comments section:

This is first and foremost a signal to the Arab League of what lies ahead if it endorses any motions towards further controls over the Syrian-Lebanese border.

Despite Arab diplomats' notoriously circular language, the Saturday statement on Lebanon to have come out of the Arab League wasn't as bad as it might have sounded. The Arabs' decision to form a "delegation to consult with Lebanese authorities as well as regional and int'l parties" - the delegation began meeting with Lebanese officials today - is something I would've thought unneccessary given the fact that the Arabs were already presented with the Lebanese government's evidence relating to the smuggling of weapons and fighters by the Syrian regime. Nevertheless, their statement highlighted the fact that, "the contacts will shed light on terrorism, crimes, assassinations, arms trafficking and infiltration of armed men that Lebanon has been subjected to." It may not seem like much, but when looked through the lense of the League's past impotence(s), it comes out as a significant step - something the regime in Syria is all too aware of.

Perhaps more importantly, however, was this quote from a Naharnet article on the League's Saturday statement: "The Arab ministers also urged help for Lebanon to control its border with Syria," which might have driven the point home in case the Syrians missed it:

Help...Lebanon....control...border...Syria.

The message was sent, and Syria wasted no time in replying:

Statement on Saturday, Rockets into Israel on Sunday, Border closure on Wednesday.



As for the flow of weapons, a Syrian closure of border crossings will not mean that the same soldiers preventing Lebanese goods from reaching Arab markets will not allow Syria's intelligence agencies to funnel crates of ammunition and weaponry to their subordinates in Lebanon when noone's looking. And if some of those subordinates find themselves in a bind, theres no limit as to what the creative mind is capable of accomplishing!

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:34 PM

    Is this good or bad?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jimmy9:49 PM

    Syria had threatened to close all the borders with Lebanon if UN monitors were put on the border. This is a signal not to test them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous11:35 PM

    DONT TEST THEM....WTF!

    SCREW THEM...CLOSE THE GOD DAMN BORDERS!!! It will save this country from Bashar al assad...CLOSE THE BORDERS...let the syrians find another way to get their goods sold or their extortion money in and out of the country.

    We can ship the goods over sea or better yet...build a road on the border with Israel that goes into Jordan, hence we bypass Bashar altogether...

    In any event now is the time to get the UN involved...now is the time to invite them to inspect the borders

    Shunkleash

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with all of you. This is first and foremost a signal to the Arab League of what lies ahead if it endorses any motions towards further controls over the Syrian-Lebanese border.

    Despite Arab diplomats' notoriously circular language, the Saturday statement on Lebanon to have come out of the Arab League wasn't as bad as it might have sounded. The Arabs decided on forming a "delegation to consult with Lebanese authorities as wella s regional and int'l parties" - the delegation began meeting with Lebanese officials today - which is something I would've thought unneccessary given the fact that the Arabs were already presented with the Lebanese government's evidence relating to the smuggling of weapons and fighters by the Syrian regime.

    Nevertheless, their statement highlighted the fact that
    "The contacts will shed light on terrorism, crimes, assassinations, arms trafficking and infiltration of armed men that Lebanon has been subjected to." It may not seem like much, but when looked through the lense of the League's past impotence(s), it comes out as a significant step - something the regime in Syria is all too aware of.

    Perhaps more importantly, however, was this quote from a Naharnet article on the League's Saturday statement:
    "The Arab ministers also urged help for Lebanon to control its border with Syria."
    Which might have driven the point home in case the Syrians missed it:
    Help...Lebanon....control...border...Syria.

    The message was sent, and Syria wasted no time in replying:
    Statement on Saturday, Rockets into Israel on Sunday, Border closure on Wednesday.

    As for the flow of weapons, a Syrian closure of border crossings will not mean that the same soldiers preventing Lebanese goods from reaching Arab markets will not allow Syria's intelligence agencies to funnel crates of ammunition and weaponry to their subordinates in Lebanon when noone's looking. And if some of those subordinates find themselves in a bind, theres no limit as to what the creative mind is capable of accomplishing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous5:20 AM

    So good or bad?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous2:38 AM

    Good news, the hell with Hezbollah supporters who trade with Syria and visit Damascus every week

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Good news? It will cost Lebanon and Lebanese business over $1 billion dollars in lost revenue.

    ReplyDelete
  8. True Blue10:22 PM

    Where did u get ur figures anonymous?

    ReplyDelete

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