debkafile reports: Radical Palestinian groups backed by Tehran and Damascus aid Islamists fighting Lebanese troops for fourth day. More than 15,000

These reinforcements have prevented the Lebanese army from breaking down the resistance of the armed Fatah al-Islam fighters in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp outside Tripoli in northern Lebanon. At least 32 soldiers, 20 Islamist fighters and dozens of civilians have been killed. The Lebanese troops continued pounding the camp Tuesday.
debkafile‘s counter-terror sources report that among the groups streaming to the camp since Monday, May 21, are gunmen of Ahmed Jibril’s radical Poplar Front for the Liberation of Palestinian-General Command and Abu Mussa’s breakaway Fatah. Both maintain headquarters in Damascus, notwithstanding US demands to remove them. Jibril is known to draw funds from Tehran. Their armed men could not have crossed from Syria without Damascus’ approval, thus belying Syria’s denial of direct interference in the violence which is posing an acute challenge to the Lebanese army.
Traditionally, Lebanese troops have stayed clear of the Palestinian refugee enclaves under a contract signed in 1969. However the army’s failure against the Palestinian extremists in Nahr al-Bared would detract from its authority in the whole of Lebanon. It would have grave repercussions for the stability of government of anti-Syrian Fouad Siniora and its ability to stand up to Hizballah and pro-Syrian forces.
The Siniora government has urgently asked friends for money and resources to help bring the confrontation to a speedy conclusion.

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