‘Sedition’ in the Damascus-Tehran agenda

 After the involvement of Hezbollah in Syria became public and is no longer attributed to the defense of Shiite or mixed villages on the border, the issue had to be covered up on the domestic level. This must occur as Hezbollah is now the ruling party and needs to maintain the “self-distancing” lie that turned out to be a distancing from the Syrian people and a bias towards the Syrian regime and its crimes.


Realistically speaking, Hezbollah does not need any covering up of its activities. However doing that, even superficially, is still preferable and will be helpful in case the Security Council becomes part of the equation. Hezbollah cover-ups are especially necessary due to the Security Council’s statement expressing concern over the involvement of Lebanese factions in the Syrian conflict. Although this statement does not refer to a particular party as Russia commented, it actually highlighted the risks of the conflict being exported to Lebanon. The Lebanese prime minister immediately welcomed the statement, but anyone in his place who is aware of the risks would have said that the Security Council’s stance is not enough and would have asked it to pay the matter more attention.

Taking advantage of the statement

But the regime in Damascus was ready to take advantage of this statement so the following day it sent a memorandum to the Lebanese government asking it not to allow “armed groups” to use its borders for crossing into Syria. What “armed groups” did the memorandum mean? Not Hezbollah fighters of course, they are now involved in a military plan which aims to support the regime in its attempt to regain control over al-Qusair and connecting it to the western countryside of Homs to secure the road from northern Damascus to Homs. The plan extends westwards to the coastal area, the next stronghold for the regime after it is reduced to a gang.

Nobody wants sedition, but the Assad regime does and as long it is acting upon Iranian instructions, it is easy to conclude that Iran, too, wants sedition

Abdul Wahab Badrakhan

The Damascus memorandum was not just a warning, but rather a threat that soon came into effect with the bombing of villages on the northern borders and air raids on the village of Ersal in the north east. This new interaction between the two “states,” and therefore superficially between two “armies,” is taking the controversy in Lebanon to another level and is distracting attention from the malignant role played by Hezbollah. Fighters are no longer using the Lebanese borders owing to the restrictions and arrests to which they have been subjected. The regime in Lebanon is aware of this yet its helplessness and weakness drive it to accept the agenda imposed by Damascus which includes dragging Lebanon to sectarian sedition.

Nobody wants sedition, but the Assad regime does and as long it is acting upon Iranian instructions, it is easy to conclude that Iran, too, wants sedition. Hezbollah is, therefore, not in a position to oppose sedition especially if it has become a strategic necessity in itself and would be facilitated by the fact that Lebanon is an open stage for the exchange of regional provocations. The situation has become quite obvious following unjustified attacks on Sunni clerics in Shiite areas as if it were a rehearsal of what is to come. What is more striking is the fact that senior state officials were abroad as if their absence or presence does not change a thing.


This article was first published in Lebanon-based Annahar on March 20, 2013.

Abdul Wahab Badrakhan is a Lebanese journalist, who writes weekly in London's Al-Hayat newspaper among other Arab publications. Badrakhan was a journalist in 'Annahar' (Beirut) until 1979, in 'Annahar Arabic & international' magazine (Paris) up to 1989, in 'Al-Hayat' (London) as managing editor then deputy editor in chief until 2006. At present, Badrakhan is working on two books. The first book is on the roots of the experiences that have motivated young Arab men to go to Afghanistan. The second is devoted to Arab policies to counterterrorism, starting with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and covering the ensuing wars.

Last Update: Thursday, 21 March 2013 KSA 09:15 - GMT 06:15
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