History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Monday, April 04, 2005

    More Pressure on Syria

    To continue what I had started below, StrategyPage (if you aren't reading it regularly, you should start) posts this information:
    April 1, 2005: The British amphibious ship Albion has joined the French commando support ship Var off the Lebanese coast. Although operating independently of the French vessel, it's been conducting evacuation exercises and acting like it's preparing to support commando operations in Lebanon. Like the French ship, the Albion can also support troops, serve as a headquarters and, in general, allow for intervention if Lebanon collapses into civil disorder. Unlike France, Britain does not have a large number of its citizens living in Lebanon, but there is an embassy, and some people to be evacuated. Many Lebanese believe that Syria, and their Lebanese allies, will not allow an anti-Syrian government to gain control in Lebanon. It's feared that the Syrians, and their Lebanese collaborators, are willing to risk another civil war in Lebanon in order to maintain Syrian economic advantages in Lebanon. The United States (and many European nations, and the UN) are telling Syria that this won't work, and would result in military action against Syria.
    I suspect this, combined with the presence of a French ship (as mentioned), not mention the 3 Carriers heading towards or in the Middle East right now puts a lot of pressure on Syria. Adding ships like this is a way of slowly pushing the Syrians into behaving, while avoiding an outright conflict or giving them time to stall. The pace of such developments is probably tied to Syrian moves to withdraw from Lebanon. The slower the Syrians withdraw, the faster we put pressure on them.

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