Fighting rages in Mt. Lebanon, Damour south of Beirut and northern town of Tripoli

debkafile reports: In the second winning round of its war on the pro-Western Siniora government, Hizballah pounded the Druze strongholds of anti-Syrian Walid Jumblatt in the Mt. Lebanon hills east of Beirut all day Sunday, April 11. When the Druze leader asked his rival Talal Arselan to broker a truce deal, Hizballah laid down an ultimatum: Druze militias must turn in their heavy weapons to the Lebanese army and disarm their troops or the attacks go on.
In the northern town of Tripoli Hizballah allies continued to fight pro-government Sunni loyalists.
Shiite gunmen continue to man roadblocks on Beirut highways including the airport road even through Hizballah agreed Saturday, May 10, to take its armed men off the streets after the army surrendered to its two key demands.
debkafile‘s sources report that Hizballah fighters mingle with Shiite Amal men in order to camouflage their continuing street presence. Lebanese soldiers still do not venture into the districts conquered by Hizballah in four days of fierce fighting. The crisis which has claimed 44 dead and 128 wounded is therefore far from over. Arab League foreign ministers met Sunday in emergency session called by Saudi Arabia and Egypt Sunday night. Damascus, which sent a low-level delegate instead of its foreign minister, vetoed the proposal to send an Arab peacekeeping force to hold Hizballah in check.
Israel’s deputy defense minister Vilnai said the Lebanese situation is worrying but there is no cause for Israel to intervene.
In obedience to Hizballah demands the Lebanese army revoked two government measures Saturday: the Shiite group’s independent telecommunication network will not be shut down and the pro-Hizballah Brig. Gen Wafiq Shqeir would keep his job as Beirut international airport head of security. The general was accused of waving through illegal Iranian arms shipments for Hizballah.
In a broadcast speech, Saturday, May 10, the pro-Western prime minister Fouad Siniora asked the army to defuse the crisis after Hizballah seized control of western Beirut, besieged the government center and attacked pro-government Sunni centers across Lebanon. Government loyalists found no support from Sinora’s powerful backers, the United States, France or even Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The pro-Western government was therefore forced to back down.
This meant its acceptance of Hizballah’s communication system in central, southern and eastern Lebanon and its direct link to Syrian and Iranian command centers in Damascus; and the Shiite group’s Beirut headquarters online communications link to its Revolutionary Guards bosses in Tehran.
Triumphant, the Hizballah chief Hassan Hasrallah will be a more dangerous enemy than ever. The army rather than the government laid down the condition that Hizballah withdraw from the Sunni districts of Beirut and the rest of the country and remove its armed men from the streets.
Even so, a government minister remarked that the deal awaits approval by Hizballah leaders and the Iranian ambassador in Beirut. It is far from certain that the Shiite terrorists will give up the territory they gained in the last four days.

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