More Want Syria Out of Lebanon

Via Captain's Quarters this morning we find that Russia and members of the Arab League have joined the calls for Syria to leave Lebanon. Russia's removal of support is significant. I believe that it has realized that it has been on the losing side of history in several middle eastern conflicts.

Putin may have feared diplomatic isolation on this point, as France has partnered with the US for the first time in ages on a point of international politics, and Germany's Gerhardt Schroeder has also publicly demanded a Syrian withdrawal. With Europe and the US tightly united on Syria, Putin may have decided that backing Assad has become a losing bet.

Russia is seeking a new balance between the status quo and the US call for complete withdrawal:

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said: “Syria should withdraw from Lebanon, but we all have to make sure that this withdrawal does not violate the very fragile balance which we still have in Lebanon, which is a very difficult country ethnically.”

With this much international support, Syrian military dominance of Lebanon may have become a thing of the past. The question now revolves around what happens to the spies, terrorist camps and training facilities that managed to operate there.

Josh Poulson

Posted Thursday, Mar 3 2005 07:34 AM

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