Author Topic: Syria hails 'a new Middle East'  (Read 74 times)

Don Rizzle

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Syria hails 'a new Middle East'
« on: August 15, 2006, 08:25:15 AM »
Syria hails 'a new Middle East'
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says a new Middle East has emerged as a result of what he called Hezbollah's victory over Israel in southern Lebanon.
He said the vision of the region the US aspired to had become an illusion.

His comments came as the truce between Israel and Hezbollah remains intact despite sporadic violence.

Israel's army shot five Hezbollah fighters in two incidents in south Lebanon, killing at least three. It said it acted in self-defence.

Thousands of displaced Lebanese are returning home after a halt to the conflict, in which both sides claimed to have been successful.

Mr Assad, speaking in Damascus a day after the UN-brokered ceasefire took effect, was giving his first speech on the crisis since it began more than a month ago.

He praised the "the glorious battle" he said had been waged by Hezbollah, and said peace in the Middle East was not possible with the Bush administration in power in Washington.

"This is an administration that adopts the principle of pre-emptive war that is absolutely contradictory to the principle of peace," he said. "Consequently, we don't expect peace soon or in the foreseeable future."

Lebanon deaths:
About 1,000 - mostly civilians
No precise data on Hezbollah dead
Israeli deaths:
Soldiers: 114 (IDF)
Civilians: 43 (IDF)
Lebanon displaced:
700,000 - 900,000 (UNHCR; Lebanese govt)
Israeli displaced:
500,000 (Human Rights Watch)
Lebanon damage:
$2.5bn (Lebanese govt)
Israel damage:
$1.1bn (Israeli govt)

The defiant speech is the clearest sign of how US opponents in the Middle East have been emboldened by the outcome of the conflict, says the BBC's Jon Leyne in Damascus.

Mr Assad said there was no more need for defeatism among Arabs - a feeling echoed across the Arab world, our correspondent adds.

As Lebanese refugees continued to pour back to their homes on Tuesday, their government said it was ready to move forward with its part in securing the ceasefire.

Defence Minister Elias Murr said that by the end of the week, the Lebanese army would deploy 15,000 troops on the boundaries of the southern Litani River, some 30km (19 miles) from the border with Israel.

In the meantime, international troops currently in Lebanon would assume positions vacated by the Israeli army before handing them over to the Lebanese troops.

He said it was not the job of the Lebanese army to disarm Hezbollah fighters but he was confident they would withdraw from areas in southern Lebanon as the troops moved in.

French visit

In Israel, army officers said they expected to start giving up captured Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon within a day or two.

With one side achieving its aims and the other not, peace will not last.
Jeff Smith, United Kingdom

Overnight, Israeli troops left the southern Christian town of Marjayoun, Lebanese security sources said.

Israel's army said Hezbollah militants fired several mortars southwards overnight but it did not respond as none landed over the border and no-one was injured.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy is travelling to Lebanon to discuss the proposed deployment of an expanded United Nations force, in which France is expected to play a key role.

Meanwhile, the presidents of US and Iran have blamed each other for fuelling the crisis.

US President George W Bush accused Iran of backing armed groups in Lebanon and Iraq "in the hope of stopping democracy from taking hold".

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed Washington for providing Israel with weapons which he said had been used to target women and children in Lebanon.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/15 14:09:32 GMT

iraq would just get annexed by iran

That would be a great solution.  If Iran and the majority of Iraqi's are pleased with it, then why shouldn't they do it?


  • Guest
Re: Syria hails 'a new Middle East'
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2006, 10:13:45 AM »
Haha israel.


  • Guest
Re: Syria hails 'a new Middle East'
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2006, 08:58:29 PM »
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 09:02:37 PM by YGZ »