Following battles, media and political maneuvers, a bunch of speeches by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, the end result was disappointing or rather shocking.
This was more so as we saw ISIS fighters board huge “air-conditioned” buses from the Lebanese-Syrian border toward the far East in Syria, near Iraq, under the protection of Syrian forces and facilitations from the Lebanese Khomeini party accompanied with Red Crescent convoys. The deal angered the families of the Lebanese soldiers who have been abducted for years.
After ISIS guaranteed that its demands to safely exit under the regime’s protection to Abu Kamal and Deir az-Zour in East Syria will be met, it told Hezbollah where the dead Lebanese soldiers are buried. The Khomeini party then told the army command and the general security where the tombs are. All this is happening amid the families’ shock!
According to Hezbollah’s media, the ceasefire agreement stipulates that ISIS fighters and their families will be allowed to board buses to go to Syria. The convoys arrived to an exchange point in East Syria and from there, they will go to ISIS-controlled areas.
What’s more provoking is that following the Lebanese army’s presence in the Jroud battles, the army was deprived of this glorious momentMashari Althayidi
Welcomed as heroes
Details about these strange negotiations continue to reveal more and more. For example, we learnt that Hezbollah imposed its decision on the state to hand over three convicts from the Roumieh Prison in exchange of releasing a number of its fighters who were welcomed as heroes.
Iraqi troops are currently fighting ISIS on the borders with Syria where ISIS fighters have been warmly allowed to head as they exit the Lebanese Qalamoun area. This of course angers the Iraqis. Prime Minister Abadi rejected the deal and many Iraq writers and activists are furious and feel that Iraq’s interests are being disregarded.
All this shows a truth that some have always overlooked, and it’s that “all” armed Islamized groups that operate outside the state’s authorities, whether Sunni or Shiite, act the same and share the same culture that violates the state’s sanctity, sovereignty of law and prestige of the entity that governs everyone according to the constitution which is the only authority to abide by towards all of the society’s components.
This deal also signifies the Lebanese state’s weak control and sovereignty under the presidential term of Michel Aoun in particular – as it was claimed he will restore the republic’s power.
What’s more provoking is that following the Lebanese army’s honorable presence in the Jroud battles, the army was deprived of this glorious moment and Hezbollah, the armed religious group, appeared as the stronger party as it was the one who negotiated with the Syrian regime and arranged the deal’s details.
This scene truly exposes quite a lot.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.