August 12, 2011
On August 6, a Lebanese newspaper, The Daily Star, reported three men were charged by Lebanon’s Military Prosecutor General with smuggling weapons into Syria. “Wasim Tamim, Samir Tamim, and Ahmad Qabri were charged with allegedly smuggling weapons and drugs outside the country through one of its ports,” the newspaper reported.
The brief article, which appeared on page two of the newspaper’s print edition, did not go into any further detail.
Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper, however, did report details neglected by The Daily Star, which has business ties with the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times.
According to Sahand Avedis, writing for World Socialist Web Site, who cites Al-Akhbar, Lebanese Army investigators said they uncovered a connection between the smugglers and the political entourage of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia.
The cache of weapons consisted of 1,000 assault rifles that were reportedly destined for the city of Baniyas in Syria. “Baniyas is one of a number of cities hit by protests against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the months since the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The Syrian regime has mobilized the Syrian army against these protests, which have been concentrated in majority-Sunni regions of the country, claiming it was trying to repress violent opposition by armed guerrilla movements,” writes Avedis.
Intelligence tracked the group to the March 14 alliance, a Sunni-Druze-Christian coalition that takes its name from the date of the Cedar Revolution, when Lebanese took to the streets in Beirut in overwhelming numbers to demand the end of Syrian occupation. The group is supported by the U.S., Israel, and the Saudis.
“The recently foiled operation is still under investigation, and there has been highly significant information gleaned from those involved who are affiliated with a prominent tendency in the March 14 alliance. This is not the only operation that they have carried out,” reported the al-Safir newspaper on August 8.
Avedis writes that Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television network reports the smugglers “confessed to running over 30 arms-smuggling operations from Marina to Baniyas with the assistance of Mohammad Kabbara, a member of the Al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc tied to Saudi intelligence. Al-Manar stated that the center of operations was Kabbara’s farm in northern Lebanon, adding that this was also a transit point for Islamist (Salafi) fighters traveling to the Syrian city of Homs.”
Homs, Idlib, and the southern province of Daraa have witnessed some of the largest demonstrations in recent days against the Syrian government.
Syrian state television has reported that “armed thugs” have attacked law enforcement in the country. In Hama earlier this month, according to the Ahlul Bayt News Agency, armed groups used live ammo and Molotov cocktails against police departments. In June, the AP reported that 120 Syrian security forces were killed by armed men who also torched government buildings. The AP dismissed the report as Syrian government propaganda.
The corporate media has downplayed the violence against the government while sensationalizing the death of protesters.
Former French General Jean Rannou has outlined a NATO attack on Syria to depose Bashar al-Assad’s regime, a move that reveals that covert efforts against the country are not working.
On Friday, Secretary of State Clinton urged nations to “get on the right side of history” and condemn the regime. She demanded the world to stop buying oil from Syria, in effect calling for an embargo on the Middle Eastern county.
Clinton’s remarks coincided with news that the European Union will extend sanctions against Syria.
On Wednesday the United Nations Security Council warned it would take action to stop the Syrian government from killing its citizens. The effort was spearheaded by Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations.
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