Sunday, November 04, 2012

A couple of notable pieces on Lebanon

Karim el-Mufti's insightful essay on the assasination of Wissam al-Hassan.

Nicholas Heras offers a useful compilation of accusations of Hezbollah's role in Syria fighting.  Many of the allegations come from Lebanese opponents of Hezbollah, particularly media sources that are sympathetic to the March 14 apparatus.  Partiality does not disprove the charges however.  My own assessment is that the level of Hezbollah's engagement in the Syrian fighting has been over-stated.  Indeed, the party leadership seems to be treading carefully and with a keen sense of the political and security risks that it faces within Lebanon should it more fully engage in Syria.  Even so, the strategic stakes in Syria are huge and Hezbollah's creeping engagement in support of the Damascus regime is continuing. It also needs to be recognized that the Lebanese-Syrian border is not as clear cut as a map would suggest.  Some Lebanese villages are only readily accessible from Syria, so Hezbollah's claims that it has deployed to protect Lebanese Shi'i villages is not far-fetched.

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