Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's brief stopover in Damascus Saturday, Sept. 18, on his way to New York, was long enough for him and Syrian President Bashar Assad to finalize their plans to back Hizballah's threatened coup against the Hariri government in Beirut, debkafile's military and Mid East sources report. Hizballah called a general mobilization that same day and by Sunday had 5,000 armed men deployed in Beirut, ready to make good on its threat to seize power rather than let its leaders be indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) for the Hariri murder.
Hizballah went into action after learning that the indictments were on the way. Ahmadinejad and Assad were of one mind that they must not be delivered – even it meant helping their Lebanese Shiite surrogate to overthrow the Lebanese government. They discussed possible Israeli intervention to save Beirut from Hizballah domination and decided that the Jewish state Israel would not take this risk, any more than the Lebanese army would fight to defend the government.
Our Lebanese sources disclose that France's UN ambassador Gerard Araud passed word to his Lebanese contacts that Daniel Bellemare, the STL's chief prosecutor's decision to file charges against Hizballah was final.
Sunday night, Lebanon's ruling March 14 party held an emergency meeting to discuss what to do about "the persistent coup against the state and its institutions, especially by Hizballah's security and military…"
Special attention was drawn to Hizballah's takeover at the points of their guns of Beirut's international airport to guarantee the safety of the Lebanese Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, against arrest on his arrival. A warrant was issued after he demanded that members of Lebanon's general prosecution be put to death. He accused them of joining in a conspiracy of the international tribunal and prime minister to implicate him in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in order to lay the blame for the crime at Hizballah's door.
Sayyed was one of the four Lebanese generals detained for four years for alleged complicity in the crime and recently freed. He claimed consistently that neither Syria nor Hizballlah had been involved.
Hizballah gunmen were posted to shield him from being arrested. As one Hizballah source put it: "The party will cut off the unjust hands that would attack Maj. Gen. Sayyed" – a crude threat to Lebanon's forces of law and order as a step on the way to a coup to overthrow the government and seize power.