Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Lebanese Leader Gunned Down

See update below.

Anti-Syrian politician Pierre Gemayel was gunned down today just outside Beirut. In the fifth killing of an anti-Syrian leader since the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005, Gemayel death is understandably being blamed on pro-Syrian faction in Lebanon. U.S. Ambassador John Bolton his hinting toward Syrian involvement.

For its part, Syria is condemning the assassination calling it "despicable crime aims to destroy stability and peace in Lebanon."

Talk about bad timing. Gemayel's assassination comes just a day after Iraq restored diplomatic relations with Syria. How accusations of Syrian involvement will impact the turmoil in Iraq is unknown. The U.S. remains wary about the Syrian-Iraq rapprochement.

Update: I have not heard this yet in the MSM, but Allah of HotAir and Anton Enfeni of Across the Bay are reporting of a concerted plot by Syria to tip the balance of power in Lebanon in favor of pro-Syrian politicians, disrupting the Lebanese government from declaring its support for a tribunal to investigate PM Rafik Hariri.

Apparently there was a second attack today targeting the office of Michel Pharaon, minister of parliamentary affairs. Pharaon is a Greek-Catholic that is aligned with the anti-Syrian parliamentary bloc.

Will update as available.

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