Monday, August 30, 2010

Hizbullah, Syria to cooperate on conflicts with Israel'

J Post

Lebanese group and Syrian military have joint headquarters to plan attacks and defense; Assad urges Lebanese support for Hizbullah, calls for "calm and dialogue" in Lebanon. Lebanese guerilla group Hizbullah and the Syrian military have reportedly agreed to cooperate on any future conflicts with Israel, according to Kuwaiti newspaper a-Rai.

Sources told the newspaper that Hizbullah and Syria now have joint headquarters from which they can coordinate any operations pooling resources and information, to be jointly commanded by officers from the two groups.

These operations would include air, land and sea and plans reportedly include strategies for attacks on Israel as well as defense of Lebanon in the event of an Israeli attack.

Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus early on Monday, to discuss Syrian-Lebanese ties and to consolidate "coordination between the two countries in all fields," Syria's state-run news agency SANA reported Monday.

Hariri has visited Damascus repeatedly this year in a sign of Syria's renewed influence over Lebanon in the years since Damascus withdrew its military in 2005, ending a nearly three-decade hold on Lebanon.

According to the report, Assad called for "calm and dialogue to solve impending problems." He also reiterated his support for the "resistance against foreign threats," and urged Hariri to support Hizbullah.

On Sunday, Ash-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that the Lebanese Armed Forces will continue receiving military equipment from France despite pressure from Israel and the US to halt such assistance.

Last week, street battles in Beirut between Hizbullah and a small Sunni group killed three people, exacerbating sectarian tensions in Lebanon.

AP contributed to this report.

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