Monday, March 24, 2008

Another Tense Border

We go from a tense-but-manageable border situation between Russia and Georgia to a tense-but-potentially-catastrophic situation on Israel's northern border:

Syria Deploys Three Military Divisions on the Border with Lebanon

Syria has deployed three military divisions along the borders with Lebanon amidst mounting tension in the region, press reports said Sunday.

The leading daily an-Nahar attributed the report to well informed sources, noting that the deployment backs a similar massing of fighters by pro-Syrian Palestinian factions in the Bekaa valley, especially Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) in the Qoussayah area.

The development followed Hizbullah's open war declaration against Israel after the Feb. 12 assassination in Damascus of the party's Imad Mughniyeh by a bomb explosion.

Hizbullah is sponsoring a major rally in south Beirut's suburb of Rweis on Monday to commemorate Mughniyeh, labeled commander of the "two victories" in reference to the Liberation of south Lebanon from Israeli occupation in May 2000 and the 34-day war against Israel in the summer of 2006.

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has pledged that "thousands of Imad Mughniyehs would confront the Zionist enemy if it invades Lebanon."

Israel has ordered its troops on alert to confront a possible attack by Hizbullah operatives when the party marks Mughniyeh's memorial rally on Monday, 40 days after his assassination.

I haven't found confirmation in mainstream media sources yet, so this could be some hyperventilating over nothing. More to come (or, frankly, hopefully nothing more to come than just an exchange of nasty newspaper articles between the Israelis and Syria and Hizbullah).

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