Israel: February 22, 2005

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Israel is on the verge of winning a major victory in Lebanon, because of the assassination of  Rafik al Hariri. It's unclear who was behind this killing. It was done professionally, which makes it appear like there was a government behind it. But which government? Most Lebanese blame Syria, and the enormous public uproar over the killing has forced Syria to promise to withdraw its troops from Lebanon "soon." Years of pressure to do this are finally paying off, with many Arab governments agreeing that Syria should get out. But this will mean that the Iranian backed Hizbollah terrorists in Lebanon will lose their major protector. Without all those Syrian troops to back them up, Hizbollah will not be able to intimidate, and dominate, Lebanese troops and police as easily.  Hizbollah's presence and power has exaggerated Shia influence in Lebanon, and the rest of Lebanese would like to adjust things a bit. Hizbollah has threatened to fight if Syrian troops are forced out of Lebanon. 

 

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