The first stage in the withdrawal from Lebanon will start today, according to the outgoing Lebanese Defence Minister. The movement of all Syrian troops to the Bekaa border region will be complete by Thursday.
The Syrian government’s best asset, the extremely eloquent, progressive Buthayna Shaaban (below) said the troops will be out of Lebanon “sooner than the world thinks”. It is said that she has the President’s ear.
The Syrian and Lebanese Presidents will meet today to agree a timetable for full withdrawal from Lebanon.
Al-Mustaqbal, the newspaper owned by the family of murdered ex-Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri, hailed today’s pullback as a “historic event“.
Meanwhile, Hizbollah have reacted angrily to the withdrawal. They’re calling for a protest on Tuesday. They realise that US pressure on Syria might now start to concentrate on Hizbollah.
However in a BBC interview yesterday, the Syrian Ambassador to London was asked whether he would press for Hizbollah to be disarmed once Syria withdraws: How can we, we wont be in Lebanon.
One of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s top men thinks the US will soon apply sanctions on Syria for its support of Hizbollah.