Sunday, June 03, 2007

2nd Palestinian `refugee' camp explodes in Lebanon as the gunfight at Nahar al-Bared continues..

As what passes for the Lebanese army nerves itself to go into the stronghold of Fatah al Islam in the northern camp of Nahar al-Bared near Tripoli, The Palestinians and pro-Syrian fighters have opened up a new fighting front in the main southern camp Ein al-Hilweh (`Eye of the Beauty')..just as I predicted.

As in Nahar-al-Barad, the Lebanese army is facing a well armed, Syrian backed force that has been tooling up and preparing fortifications and armaments for some time. This was no `spontaneous outburst'.

Aiding the Palestinians in both locations are well armed and well trained units of Ahmed Jibril's PFLP guerillas.

The fighting broke out in Ein-al-Hilweh when the Palestinians fired a rocket-propelled-grenade at a Lebanese army checkpoint in Taamir, a residential area next to the camp. The checkpoint is one of many that keeps the Palestinian `refugees' in a virtual jail. (ed. note - just noticing - the Lebanese are among the Arabs who piss and moan about those `inhumane' Israeli checkpoints...) The RPG round wounded three Lebanese soldiers and two civilian passers-by.

The attack prompted a shootout between the troops and inhabitants of the camp.

Around midnight in the same area, gunmen again attacked army checkpoints with two rocket-propelled grenades and a hand grenade and soldiers responded with machine gun fire. security officials said. No word on casualties from the latest gun battle.

In Nahar al-Bared itself, Lebanese troops are cautiously inching into the heavily fortified camp.
They managed to destroy several Fatah al-Islam positions, but it cost them about 50 men, something the Siniora government is keeping quiet about.

As the Syrian sponsored armed revolt against the Siniora government continues to grow, there's a real possibility that it could spread to the Palestinian camps near Beirut, and even derail what little work the UN peacekeepers are doing in South Lebanon. If serious fighting breaks out that could endanger them, rest assured that the UN will pull them out quicker than a rat jumping off a sinking ship.

Keep in mind also that Hezbollah could get into this if necessary, Thus far, they've limited their assistance to arms, ammo and training.

The whole thing comes down to Syria's campaign to bring Lebanon back under its control and derail the the UN tribunal for prosecuting the assassins of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri..who include, as regular members of Joshua's Army know, high ranking officials in the Syrian government.

Like Pakistan's Musharraf, Lebanon's Siniora is another horse in the Muslim world President Bush bet on to win that looks increasingly like finishing out of the money.

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