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May 21, 2007

Lebanese Shell Palestinian Refugee Camp

Look familiar?

2006_08_05t152933_450x304_us_mideast.jpg

No need for photoshopping here to really sell the carnage -- Lebanon shelling Palestinain refugee camps just isn't really all that bad. Kind of understandable when dealing with terrorist provocations, you know. Can't make an omlette and all that.

Just curious as to why the Lebanese are permitted to fight wars against terrorists killing their civilians whereas the Israelis aren't. Must be the scary power of that Jew Lobby Ron Paul's always on about.

Anyway.

A prominent story, to be sure, but don't expect the full-court media press we saw in the Israeli-Hamas war.

Lebanese troops today shelled a Palestinian refugee camp, a day after more than 55 people were killed in fighting between Sunni militants and government forces.

Tank shells crashed into the coastal camp of Nahr el-Bared, home to some 40,000 refugees, near the northern city of Tripoli. Plumes of smoke rose into the sky as fighters of the little-known Fatah al-Islam group fired grenades and machineguns at army posts on the camp perimeter, witnesses said.

Palestinian sources in the camp said the shelling had killed two civilians.

As Lebanese forces fired on the camp, witnesses said imams used loudspeakers to call on the army to stop the shelling.

At least 27 soldiers, 15 militants and 15 civilians died in yesterday's violence, the worst internal fighting since Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war.

Here's the background:

a Palestinian jihadist outfit called Fatah al-Islam that’s based in the Pali refugee camp in Tripoli (in northern Lebanon) attacked two Lebanese army positions at the entrance to the camp this morning, seizing two armored carriers in the process, and then ambushed another unit. The NYT profiled the group in March; you can read all about them and their leader, a former deputy of Zarqawi’s named Shaker al-Abssi, right here. They claim to be affiliated with Al Qaeda and boast that they’re planning attacks on the United States; they also operate without interference from the Lebanese authorities due to the special quasi-sovereign status Pali refugee camps enjoy. That changed today, obviously, with the attack on the army. The Lebanese responded by shelling the camp and engaging the jihadis in gun battles. 22 soldiers have been killed in the fighting as well as 17 “militants,” including possibly Abssi’s deputy, Abu Yazan. Now, hours after the fighting broke out, a bomb’s gone off outside a mall in eastern Beirut. One woman is reported dead.

Every time a step is taken towards probing the assassination of al-Hariri, terrorist groups step up attacks. From Allah's link to the JPost:

While Syrian officials have been keen from the outset to describe al-Abssi and his group as operating "in favor of al-Qaida," Lebanese authorities suspect that the group may in fact be a client of the Syrian authorities themselves, established to act as an instrument of policy in Lebanon, fomenting disorder. The Assad regime has a long history of utilizing terrorist and paramilitary groups for such a purpose. Fatah-intifada itself was used by Hafez Assad in a power struggle with Yassir Arafat in the Lebanon refugee camps between 1985-88. The regime is known also to have engaged operatives of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party to carry out assassinations in Lebanon during the civil war period.

... why might the Syrians wish to sow chaos in Lebanon, and why now?

A draft resolution for the unilateral establishment of an international tribunal on the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri was circulated in the UN Security Council by the US, France and Britain last week. It is known that the Syrian regime is determined to prevent this tribunal at all costs, since it is believed that senior Syrian officials may be found to have been involved in the Hariri killing. Could it be that the regime in Damascus might see an escalation of tension in Lebanon as currently helpful - as a tacit reminder to the international community of what Damascus is capable of when put in a corner? This is the view of senior officials in Lebanese government, and is in keeping with earlier practices of the Damascus regime.


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posted by Ace at 07:49 AM

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