Syria Pulls Back

Syria is maneuvering its forces inside Lebanon to the Bekaa Valley in an attempt to placate the world’s demands for a Syrian withdrawl. This half-step is a tactical move for Assad – the Bekaa Valley has been constantly used as a storehouse for all sorts of Syrian-related nastiness. Everything from Hizb’Allah training camps to WMD sites are contained within the Bekaa Valley, and if Syria is going to pull out, they’re going to have to clean that area out lest the rest of the world discovers what’s gone in there.

My guess is that right now Syrian troops are very busy scouring the entire region and removing anything incriminating – and that will undoubtedly be a very arduous task for them. The Syrians would never consider leaving Lebanon without taking their toys with them, which is why this maneuver is quite likely to be a prelude to full withdrawl. The Syrians know that there’s absolutely no way that they can maintain their presence in Lebanon. The international pressure is simply too great, and when it’s coming from the US, the EU, and even other Arab states, Assad has little choice. If he doesn’t pull back, he risks inflaming the tentative pro-democracy sentiment in Damascus as well, and no Middle Eastern dictator can take that chance now — although all Assad may be doing is buying time.

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