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[Insight] INSIGHT - Syria - what are they thinking - ME1

Released on 2012-03-13 17:00 GMT

Email-ID 66346
Date 2008-02-29 20:27:24
PUBLICATION : no - for background
ATTRIBUTION: Stratfor source in Lebanon
DISTRO: Analysts
A recent convo I had w/source:

Yes, but the Syrians are not over-alarmed.

<... the US is sending warships to the Med>

The Syrians and their Lebanese allies see it as a token gesture made upon
the constant pleading of the Seniora government. Don't worry, sending the
Cole does not mean that the US will hit Syria. The Syrians see it as
similar to US President J. Kennedy to send five fighter jets to Jedda,
Saudi Arabia back in 1963 to show support for the Al-Saud when the
Egyptian air force, operating in Yemen, used to strafe Saudi Arabian
border villages.

they made their participation contingent upon the election of a Lebanese
president ahead of the summit. The president will not be elected ahead of
the summit, which may relocate to Sharm el-Sheikh.

< the Gulfies are issuing travel warnings curtailing travel to Lebanon>
because Syria has charged them with involvement in the assassination of
Imad Mughniyye.

campaign against Hezbollah..>
this will happen, no doubt, before the end of this year.

The Syrians are excellent game players. They know they must be
accommodated in order for them to authorize the election of a president.
The regime is comfortable and the Asad regime is secure.

< is it time to cut a deal on the presidency?>

No. Lebanese politics is hopelessly polarized. One side has to be


They essentially want the Americans to free the Israelis to sign a peace
treaty with Syria and they want the Hariri Tribunal to be degraded. They
will never allow the election of the president unless they get guarantees
on this.