Thursday, March 10, 2005
Syria Pledges Full Withdrawal
The Syrian ambassador in Washington Imad Mustafa said that Syria started to withdraw its forces from Lebanon as from Tuesday and that the withdrawal will be completed before May.
In a statement to CNN, Mustafa said that Damascus will withdraw its forces as soon as possible a long time before May, adding "some of the forces were pulled out into inside Syria as from Tuesday." Mustafa, who explained that the withdrawal in the first phase will be until the Bekaa plain and then into inside the Syrian borders, expressed his hope that the pull out of his country's forces from Lebanon will be an opportunity to revive the peace process and push Washington to concentrate its efforts and pressure it used on Syria with Israel and convince its alley ( Israel) to withdraw its forces from the occupied lands."
Unfortunately the ambassador's statement does not mention intelligence troops; however, an official in Damascus said today that the withdrawal would include intelligence troops as well:
Lebanese military officials announced earlier that the Syrian forces will evacuate their positions in the north and central of Lebanon with the fall of march 23 in a withdrawal of two phases, while one official in Damascus said that the withdrawal also includes the intelligence (troops) [emphasis added].
The MSM has used the possible continued presence of Syrian intelligence troops in Lebanon as a way dampen optimism over the "Cedar Revolution," but if what this Syrian official says is true then chalk up another win for the Bush Doctrine in the Middle East.
Update 3/10/05: No surprise here, but the SAEN fails to mention this in today’s paper; however, there is a story about how Syria is moving to continue its dominance of Lebanese politics for the foreseeable future. As ususal the SAEN continues to ignore any good news whatsoever.