Are Syria & Lebanon Uniting Against a Common Enemy?


asad.jpgArch enemies are at times willing to mend fences when it comes to joining forces against a common foe, in this case, the State of Israel. Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri traveled to Damascus over the weekend to meet with an arch enemy, President Bashar al-Assad. It was his first visit since entering office as the leader of Lebanon.

Hariri, an outspoken opponent of the Syrian regime, was greeted with full military honors, and as even hosted in the presidential residence, Tishreen, usually reserved for family members.

The delegation sat together but at some point, the two leaders continued in private, with the meeting lasting three hours. According to the official Syrian state-run SANA agency, the two agreed on increase strategic, defense and diplomatic cooperation.

The report stated the two also discussed strengthen their common position against “Israeli aspirations in the region”.

The meeting is enjoying widespread coverage in the Arab media and elsewhere, since Hariri and his supporters blame Syria for the 2005 assassination of his father, Rafiq Hariri. The current Lebanese prime minister, the son, has labeled Assad “murderer”, “criminal” and “head of the mafia” in the past.

Hariri remains in Syria today, Sunday, and the two leaders are expected to meet again prior to his departure.

Another aspect of the meeting is a clear message to the White House, that the euphoria over the election of a pro-Western government in Lebanon was premature and short-lived, since it is now clear this is not the case.

The meeting also may represent an effort to once again increase Syria influence over Lebanon, which is apparently preferable to Hariri than the Iranian-Hizbullah union, but some experts cautiously predict that the Hariri-Assad meeting may simply be too late, since the Iranian-Hizbullah control over Lebanon is simply too strong and Assad will not revert back to his former major decision-making role in Lebanon.

Whatever the case, Israeli intelligence is undoubtedly carefully monitoring this event, which may include the two putting their differences aside towards uniting against a common enemy, in this case, Israel.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)