Exclusive: Resumed factional clashes bring out Lebanese army tank units

Fresh fighting between Hizballah and pro-Western forces supporting prime minister Fouad Siniora flared in eastern Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley and Alei in the Chouf hills east of Beirut Sunday. Government forces were deployed to restore order against Hizballah’s anti-tank weapons and 60 mm in new president Michel Sleiman’s first trial of strength since taking office last month.
debkafile‘s military sources report that the outbreak of violence shows that the Lebanese conflict was only partly addressed by the Doha accord the rival factions signed two weeks ago. It produced a consensual vote for a president and awarded Hizballah veto power in government. But it did not settle the pivotal of question of who rules Lebanon – the president, the government, Iran, Syria or Hizballah, which now sits on Sleiman’s desk.
If Siniora whom he designated prime minister changes his pro-Western spots and chooses pro-Syrian ministers to form his next government, Syria and Iran will be satisfied with having taken a further stride in their takeover of Lebanon. But if he persists in trying to build a pro-independence line-up, Hizballah will make sure to tip Lebanon over into factional violence once again.

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