Syria and Iran to support Lebanon against Israeli “aggression”

12 August 2010

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki (pictured, left) has met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus to discuss "the regional security threats posed by the Zionist regime" [Israel]. Referring to the deadly border skirmish last week, both men declared that they would support Lebanon against Israel's "aggression". Mottaki described Israel as "the source of insecurity and threat" in the Middle East . He also met with the exiled leader of Hamas, Khaleed Meshal, in Damascus.

Earlier, Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr had lashed out at a decision by the chairman of a US Congressional committee to halt US$ 100 million in military aid for the Lebanese Army in the wake of last week’s clash with Israel, which according to the United Nations occurred on Israeli territory. A Lebanese Army sniper had opened fire on an Israeli officer involved in a brush-clearing operation. IDF troops responded, killing two Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist.

On Monday, Howard Berman, the chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said he had suspended US aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces on 2 August amid growing concern in Congress that American-supplied weapons could threaten Israel and that Hezbollah may have influence over the army.

"Whoever sets as a condition that the aid should not be used to protect Lebanon's land, people and borders from the (Israeli) enemy can keep their money," Murr told a news conference, adding: "Let them keep their money or give it to Israel. We will confront [Israel] with the capabilities we have." The minister’s comments came after Iran's ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, said Tehran was ready to help the Lebanese Army. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is slated to visit Beirut next month.

Meanwhile, a London-based Arab newspaper reported that France and the US had dissuaded Israel from opening a larger-scale military operation against Lebanon in response to the border incident. French sources told the paper that Defense Minister Ehud Barak had informed French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner that Israel intended "to teach the Lebanese Army  a lesson and avenge the death of the senior Israeli officer." This allegedly led to high-level interventions involving French President Nicolas Sarkozy, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as Egyptian, Jordanian and other Arab state officials.

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Comments

Paula Menyuk

Tue, 17 Aug 2010

There are limits in the ways that Israel can respond to aggression. So far the reaction to Lebanon's response to being fired upon is well within their right as is the case on Israel's side. I think efforts should be made to keep it that way.

Paula Menyuk

Fri, 13 Aug 2010

The decision not to escalate the aggression between Israel and Lebanon is a good one. The U. S. decision not to send arms aid to 3ebanon is also a good one.

khuder

Thu, 12 Aug 2010

Arabs are a nation treacherous and a liar was supposed Israeli army soldiers are more cautious