World View: Sunni Jihadists in Lebanon Prepare for War with Hezbollah

World View: Sunni Jihadists in Lebanon Prepare for War with Hezbollah

This morning’s key headlines from

  • U.N. registers million’th Syrian refugee in Lebanon
  • Sunni jihadists in Lebanon prepare for war with Hezbollah
  • John Kerry says ‘It’s reality check time’ for Mideast talks

U.N. registers millionth Syrian refugee in Lebanon

Lebanon, with a population of 5.9 million, is now hosting one millionregistered refugees from Syria, according to the United Nations. Theone millionth refugee was registered on Wednesday, and some 2,500 newrefugees are registered every day. In addition, it’s thought thathundreds of thousands of additional Syrian refugees have entered thecountry illegally, and are not registered.

According to the United Nations, 9.5 million Syrians, about half thepopulation, have fled from their homes, and 2.6 million have fled toother countries: 

  • Lebanon – 1 million
  • Jordan – 668,000
  • Turkey – 589,000
  • Iraq – 220,000
  • Egypt – 136,000

Due to the rapid deterioration of the economy and social structure inLebanon, especially near the Syrian border, the United Nations ishumanitarian effort to a long-term effort to develop and instillindividual refugees, the U.N. will help develop employmentopportunities and improve infrastructure and basic services. 

However, a humanitarian analyst opposes the change in focus, becauseit would dilute resources: 

I think what’s a problem is when you have anemergency setting and humanitarian actors get bogged down in alsodealing with development responses. 

If you see someone drowning you don’t start a project to build ajetty.

BBCand Daily Star (Lebanon)

Sunni jihadists in Lebanon prepare for war with Hezbollah

Prosecutors in Lebanon on Friday charged two militants with being tiedto a jihadist group that has targeted military positions severaltimes, including a recent suicide car bomb that killed three soldiers.The militants are charged with being members of the Syrian-basedal-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusra (the Islamic Front). Al-Nusra is oneof the rebel groups fighting Syria’s Shia/Alewite president Basharal-Assad, who is systematically targeting Sunni civilians. 

This is the latest action by Lebanon’s government to fend off agrowing threat by al-Nusra to attack Lebanese government and armytargets, and particularly Hezbollah, the Shia terrorist group fundedby Iran. This was a shift in al-Nusra’s strategy last year, afterHezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah announced that Hezbollahsoldiers will be entering Syria to fight alongside the Syrian army totarget Sunni civilians and rebels. Al-Nusra is also claiming that thegovernment and army are allied with Hezbollah and so should betargeted as well.

Since then there’s been a string of terrorist gunfights and bombingsby al-Nusra terrorists in Lebanon. But new security reports indicate that alarge number of al-Nusra militants are taking advantage of the largeinflux of refugees from Syria to infiltrate Lebanon in the last fewdays. These fighters have scattered to several refugee camps, whilesome are residing in secret apartments. Reports indicate that theyhave already rigged several stolen cars with explosives, which theyplan to use on Hezbollah targets. Reuters and Daily Star (Lebanon)

John Kerry says ‘It’s reality check time’ for Mideast talks

It’s hard to know what to say about U.S. Secretary of StateJohn Kerry. He burst onto the scene in 1971 when he declaredto the Senate that U.S. Army soldiers were no better thanNazi stormtroopers, and he’s been belittling the army and theUnited States ever since. 

His appointment as Secretary of State was laughable from thebeginning, but was possible only because the president believes thatwar is outmoded, and that he’s uniquely able to end war forever, atthe same time that he’s healing the earth and rolling back the tides,because of his community organizer skills. John Kerry and PresidentObama have made fools of themselves and the United States with onedebacle after another — in Egypt, in Afghanistan, in Syria, inLebanon, in Crimea, in Iran. It seems that there is almost no foreignpolicy issue that hasn’t been made worse by some sort of cluelessbotching by this administration. 

Last July, Kerry used several carrots and sticks to get the Israelisand Palestinians to begin new “peace talks,” which I and many otherpeople said were completely pointless. The talks have gone on fornine months and were considered a joke in the Mideast. OnFriday, Kerry said the following: 

Regrettably in the last few days both sides havetaken steps that are not helpful. 

There are limits to the amount of time and effort that the UnitedStates can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to takeconstructive steps. So it’s reality check time.

He’s making himself the victim here. Poor John and Barack went to allthis trouble, but nobody ever listens to them. If people onlylistened, Obama and Kerry could heal the Mideast and the world. Sonow it’s “reality check time.” 

This administration lives in a dream world where reality hasn’t playedmuch of a part. So it’s hard to know what kind of “reality check”plans Kerry will make, but there’s no reason to believe that they willreflect any more reality than they have in the past. Bloomberg and NY Daily News

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Lebanon, United Nations,Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Jabhat al-Nusra, Islamic Front,Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, John Kerry 

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