Damascus forces 8-day postponement of Lebanese parliament vote for President scheduled for Saturday <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 25, 2007
Yet Syrian foreign minister Walid Moualem Thursday accused the US of blocking a purported "Syrian-French attempt" to settle the crisis in Lebanon and France of failing to distance itself from the "American role."
debkafile: The Lebanese opposition led by Hizballah and backed by Syria and Tehran are holding out for a government packed with their stooges in place of the administration which is headed by the pro-Western Fouad Siniora and backed by the Lebanese parliamentary majority.
Lebanon mourns Gen. Francois El Hajj, murdered with four others in explosion outside presidential palace early Wednesday <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2007
The huge explosion in the Christian village of Baabdeh east of Beirut targeted the officer named to succeed as chief of staff after Gen. Michel Suleiman is elected president. A Mercedes rigged as a car bomb detonated as Brig al-Hajj's vehicle passed by.
debkafile's Middle East sources: The terrorist attack undermined a key corner of Washington's evolving understanding with Tehran and Damascus.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Deal for Lebanese army chief Gen. Suleiman's appointment as president was hatched behind American backs at Annapolis <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 5, 2007
Our Middle East sources reveal that Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal and Syrian dep. foreign minister Faisal Mekdad quietly finalized the deal at the Middle East conference in Maryland on Nov. 27 - unbeknownst to President George W. Bush.
To arrest Lebanon's slide back into Syria's arms, the US and France are working had to save the pro-Western Fouad Siniora's government.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 26, 2007
His order to the army to take control of security and declaration of state of emergency is pronounced unconstitutional by the anti-Syrian Fouad Siniora government which announces it will stay in power. debkafile's Middle East sources say the power vacuum in Beirut creates a volatile situation. Hectic negotiations have been in progress since Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri postponed the presidential vote from Friday until Nov. 30.
Persistent rumors in Beirut speak of an emerging deal between the US, Syria, Lahoud, the pro-Western majority bloc and Hizballah.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Reports: Iran and Syria veto candidacy of Michel Khouri for Lebanese president, forcing another delay in the parliament's vote<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 20, 2007
Monday, Iranian foreign minister Manuchehr Mottaki, Syrian foreign minister Walid Mualem and French special emissary Jean-Claude Cousseran, sought to negotiate an end to the crisis over the Lebanese presidency, which falls vacant on Nov. 24. Cousseran tabled the names of the six candidates listed by the Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Sfeir, including that of Khouri. After long discussion, Mualem and Mottaki rejected all six.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Lebanon will be a second Iraq, says Hizballah in strident threat against US bases<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 29, 2007
Nawaf Mussawi, one of the leaders of the Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite movement, has threatened: "We will treat US soldiers in Lebanon like an army of occupation."
On Sept. 7, 2007, DEBKA-Net-Weekly 317revealed:
"The US army undertook to establish within six months, four Lebanese commando brigades trained to secure the regime against any foreign or domestic threat and be professional enough to take on the Iran-backed Hizballah militia."
To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click DEBKA-Net-Weekly.com?ref=001">HERE.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: The US plans new military presence in Lebanon including big air installation close by Syrian border
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 17, 2007
The air base, according to debkafile's military sources, will be located at Kleiat in northern Lebanon roughly 75 air miles from Damascus, which these days doubles as a shared Syrian-Iranian military hub and Tehran's eastern Mediterranean forward base. (see map) The American air installation will also lie 22 air miles from Tartous, Syria's main naval base and the Russian Mediterranean fleet's command center. And the aircraft posted there will be minutes away from the joint Syrian-Iranian arms and missiles industries at Homs and Hamma.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 10, 2007
They fled during the four-month standoff between Fatah Islam rebels and the Lebanese army which ended a month ago. From Wednesday, 100 families are allowed to return every day. Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora has circulated a message to Arab rulers with the evidence of Syria's complicity in the radical Palestinian uprising.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Hizballah hijacks case of German-Israeli Daniel Sharon for propaganda<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 2, 2007
The pro-Iranian Lebanese Shiite group has seized on Sharon's accidental detention, in the course of a suspected murder probe in Beirut, to depict him as belonging to a 250-strong Israeli spy ring equipped by the German BND external intelligence with German passports. The 32-year old Sharon is said to have been on a mission to prepare the US-Israeli attack on Iran.
No source in Israel or Germany confirms this tale.
The Lebanese government accordingly cancelled the visits to the detainee scheduled by German embassy and Red Cross officials for Monday.
Beirut downtown and parliament under heavy security as crucial vote postponed for electing a Lebanese president<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 26, 2007
A boycott by the Hizballah-led pro-Syrian opposition forced the postponement of parliament's vote for a new president from Sept. 25 until next month. Anti-Syrian lawmakers remain holed up in the Phoenicia Hotel, which is sealed by concrete blocks and thousands of Lebanese soldiers and police diverting traffic, since the anti-Syrian Christian MP Antoine Ghanem was assassinated last week, the eighth in a row in two years
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 25, 2007
The Israeli foreign ministry, stating that Daniel Moshe Sharon, 32, was not on any government mission in Lebanon, asked Germany to try and get him out of prison.
He was arrested by sheer chance on Friday after a Lebanese security officer suspected of shooting dead Moussa Hussein al-Shaalan in the Hizballah section of Beirut used his "German friend" at the Four Point Sheraton hotel as his alibi.
A purported Israeli arrested in Beirut amid a murder investigation, according to the Lebanese Al-Akhbar
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 22, 2007
The paper reports without attribution that Daniel Moussa Sharon was arrested and handed over to the Lebanese military intelligence service Friday, Sept. 21, after the Lebanese police chanced upon him and found he held dual German and Israeli citizenship. He was said to have visited Lebanon eleven times in two years, once shortly before the 2006 Lebanon War. Sharon denied he was on a spying mission.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 20, 2007
Antoine Ghanem, 64, was a possible candidate for the presidency in an election to replace the pro-Syrian Emil Lahoud. Next week, the Lebanese parliament convenes for the vote.
The blast occurred near the house of ex-president Amin Gemayel, whose son industry minister Pierre Gemayel, was murdered last November in a series of assassinations targeting anti-Syrian politicians. Ghanem's was the eighth such political murder in two years.
Lebanese army chief urges his forces to keep their rifles aimed in "proper direction, Israeli army and terror"<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 7, 2007
This injunction was included in Gen. Michel Suleiman's order of the day marking the Lebanese army's victory over al Qaeda-linked Fatah al-Islam Monday after a four-month battle at the northern Nahr al-Bared refugee camp near Tripoli.
debkafile's military sources say the battle raging against a pro-Syrian Palestinian Islamist faction holed up there since May is not yet over. The Lebanese army has indeed captured the camp, but an underground labyrinth of tunnels and bunkers remains to be purged.
Lebanese prime minister hails army's takeover of Palestinian refugee camp held by al-Qaeda-linked Islamists since May<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 2, 2007
At least 30 Palestinian Fatah al-Islam fighters reported killed, 34 were captured in the final battle Sunday, Sept. 2, in which five Lebanese troops also died, according to the Lebanese army. An unknown number escaped. The fate of their leader, Shaker al-Abassi is not known.
debkafile's counter-terror sources report that the extremists who fled the camp did so deliberately for the purpose of continuing their jihad against the Lebanese government in other parts of the country.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 28, 2007
Saudi intelligence services cited warnings that a stolen BMW was being readied to commit "a terrorist act against Saudi interests in Lebanon," a diplomat said.
debkafile adds: The threats came from pro-Syrian elements seeking to halt Riyadh's involvement in the quest for a solution to Lebanon's political crisis shortly before the presidential election. The elements, which use these methods of assassination against anti-Syrian figures in Lebanon, have never before gone so far as to threaten a Saudi VIP.
Women and children of Fatah al-Islam extremists evacuated from N. Lebanese camp Friday after three month siege<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 26, 2007
The civilians, 26 women and 33 children were brought out by the Lebanese army from the Nahr a-Bared camp during a temporary truce agreed after three months of fighting. Two of the children and three women were injured and taken to hospital.
Lebanese pro-Syrian opposition candidate, Camille Khouri, narrowly defeats government candidate Amin Gemayel in tense by-election Sunday<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 8, 2007
Gemayel, a former president, alleges irregularities and demands a rerun, after losing by just over 400 votes, about 0.5% of the ballot.
He ran for the Christian Metn constituency in place of his son, Pierre, a cabinet minister, who was shot dead last November. The winner represents Michel Aoun's pro-Syrian Free Patriotic Movement which is allied with Hizballah. debkafile: The vote was a straight contest in advance of the presidential race between the pro-Western ruling majority and the opposition led by Hizballah and other factions loyal to Damascus and Tehran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 18, 2007
The Tanzanian contingent, attacked as it drove across the Qassmiyeh bridge near the port town of Tyre, suffered no casualties. One vehicle was damaged. Six Spanish peacekeepers were killed in the first attack.
debkafile reports: Hizballah has moved the command center of its southern brigade to the Tyre region, and would prefer the UN force, which is mandated to prevent the Shiite militia's return to the South, to keep its distance.