Jumblatt deserts Lebanon’s pro-Western camp, signs pact with pro-Iranian Hizballah
The fervently pro-US, pro-Israeli Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, has decided to hold out no longer. He has thrown in his lot with the most extreme pro-Syrian, pro-Iranian, anti-Israel force in Lebanon, the Shiite Hizballah, which has gained veto power over the government in Beirut unopposed.
debkafile‘s Middle East sources disclose that over last weekend, Jumblatt quietly signed a “defense cooperation pact” with Hassan Nasrallah, affording Hizballah a strong foothold in the Lebanese Druze bastion of Mt. Chouf.
Drawing the hostile noose around northern Israel ever tighter, Lebanese president Michel Sleiman was due in Damascus Wednesday, Aug. 13, to celebrate the thaw in relations between the two countries.
Neither Israeli ministers, sunk in an acrimonious contest over the succession to Ehud Olmert, nor the United States in the dying days of the Bush presidency, have lifted a finger to arrest Lebanon’s swift slide into the Iranian-Syrian orbit.
Jumblatt, after watching pro-Western strategic positions crumble in his country, decided to join forces with Hizballah to shield his ancestral mountain domain from Syrian domination.
The Druze and Hizballah militias agreed to set up a joint commission for coordinating military operations. Hizballah is represented by its security and intelligence commander, Wafiq Shafa (who was in change of the recent prisoner swap with Israel) and the Druzes by Akram Shahaib.
The joint security patrols for the Druze communities of the Chouf, will also give Hizballah a military presence on its third strategic Lebanese peak, after Mt. Sannine and Jebel Barukh.