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July 27, 2006

JP: 'Nasrallah is in Damascus'

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

While much of Lebanon is in being bombed to oblivion because of his actions, Nasrallah is hiding out in Syria :

A top Iranian envoy was in Syria on Thursday for talks on the Israeli-Hizbullah conflict in a meeting that brought together the guerrilla organization's two key sponsors, according to Iranian news reports. A Kuwaiti newspaper reported that Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah was taking part in the session.

Kuwait's Al-Siyassah newspaper, known for its opposition to the Syrian regime, said the meeting was designed to discuss ways to maintain supplies to Hezbollah fighters with "Iranian arms flowing through Syrian territories."

Al-Siyassah said it learned of the meeting from "well-informed Syrian sources" it did not identify. According to the newspaper, Nasrallah was moving through Damascus with Syrian guards in an intelligence agency car. He was dressed in civilian clothes, not his normal clerical garb.

The Mehr news agency in Iran said Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, was in Damascus for meetings on the crisis, but gave no other details. Similar reports were carried by the Iranian Labor News Agency and the Fars agency.

Al-Siyassah said Larijani would meet Syrian President Hafez Assad and Nasrallah.

While Egyptian Sandmonkey and his commenters have their own takes, all valid, my own is that if the report is true, Nasrallah is in Syria to avoid getting killed by the Israelis, and that Hezbollah is under the direction of Iran. It also means he's in Syria for a bit of dressing down for his management of the presen crisis.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Iranian leadership is represented in any discussions Nasrallah is having in Syria. Nasrallah being in Syria does not necessarily mean that he is not in direct control of Hezbollah's actions in Lebanon and the attacks on Israel. Hezbollah is a competent militant organization, but is completely under the direction of Iran and it's operational partner, Syria.

Update: Captain Ed's take is, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going ... to Damascus. Apparently unhappy with Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah's direction, Syrian intelligence has whisked the Hezbollah leader to Syria for a series of meetings. Coming as it does on the heels of Nasrallah's own admission of severe blows to his efforts, one has to wonder whether Nasrallah will return to Lebanon"

Cross posted from Freedom's Zone

Posted by Abdul at July 27, 2006 12:39 PM



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