Exclusive: Lebanese army chief defies government

At least 11 people were killed Friday, May 9, Day 3 of fierce clashes between Hizballah and pro-government forces, the worst since the 1975-90 civil war. At noon, Syrian Social Nationalist Party’s units entered Beirut to support Hizballah’s advancing occupation of Sunni West Beirut districts.
debkafile‘s Middle East sources report that Thursday night, army chief Gen. Michel Suleiman refused to obey prime minister Fouad Siniora’s order to declare a state of emergency for the crisis created by Hizballah’s declaration of war against the government. The general warned that if the government enacted an emergency, he would order the troops to return to barracks.
The SSNP is a Greek Orthodox arm of Syrian military intelligence.
Hizballah and fellow Shiite Amal fighters were thus able to seize control of most of pr-government Sunni West Beirut in clashes that have spread to other parts of the Lebanon while the government was left unprotected.
The urban warfare shut down Lebanon’s sea port and international airport.
debkafile‘s military sources report that the United States, France and Israel are watching passively as Lebanon falls to Iran’s surrogate terrorist group Hizballah. Since the 2006 Lebanon war, prime minister Ehud Olmert has insisted improbably that the conflict had left Hizballah seriously weakened.

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