debkafile Exclusive: Lebanon will be a second Iraq, says Hizballah in strident threat against US bases

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.”
Lebanese and Israeli military sources advise taking the Hizballah threat seriously. Its gunmen will violently oppose the American plan for its military and instructors to provide the Lebanese national army with an edge against the Hizballah militia. They will also fight tooth and nail any American bid to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1559 ordering the disbanding of Hizballah, and no doubt receive orders from Tehran to pre-empt a US military presence and bases in Lebanon.
The Shiite extremists’ bellicose response follows exclusive disclosures in DEBKA-Net-Weekly and debkafile of the master plan developed by US CENTCOM chief, Adm. William Fallon, for upgrading and augmenting the Lebanese army. It entails the creation and training of four new brigades as elite units to provide a shield for the Beirut government.
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.”
On Sept. 21, DEBKA-Net-Weekly 318 supplemented its first revelation by reporting:
“For the first time since President Ronald Reagan pulled all US forces out of Lebanon, an American government is planning to build a number of military bases in the country around the hub of a big air base at Kleiat in the north, facing the Syrian border.
Lebanese chief of staff Gen. Michel Suleiman commented last week that if anyone in the Beirut government had known of these plans, they would have reached him.
However, Monday, Oct. 22, the pro-Syrian Lebanese paper Al-Safir reported that the Americans were about to establish military bases in Lebanon.
debkafile‘s military sources report that Adm. Fallon is due in Lebanon shortly to help American plans for the Lebanese army to move along.
Nerves in Beirut are growing tauter: US military projects move forward, on the one hand, Tehran and Damascus are pro-active in Lebanon’s military and political affairs, on the other, and the repeatedly delayed disputed presidential election, now postponed to Nov. 12, hangs over Lebanese heads.
Our sources add that Hizballah’s threat of a “second Iraq” in Lebanon may be interpreted as terrorist strikes against American military instructors and troops – up to and including sparking a civil war on the Shiite-Sunni sectarian lines that are bedeviling Iraq.
According to our military sources, the 25,000-strong Hizballah militia is better organized and trained than any of its opposite numbers in Iraq. Its leaders are not averse to reminding Washington of the events of 1983, when Syria and Hizballah using the terror tactics of massacre and hostage-taking, drove American forces out of Lebanon for 24 years.
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