Friday, June 8, 2007

The beginning of the end?

by Lucy Fielder from Al-Ahram Weekly

Some analysts believe that despite Syrian help with crossing into Lebanon and getting established, as well as allowing militants to cross from Lebanon into Iraq and back, Damascus no longer pulls Fatah Al-Islam's puppet strings. Some observers say Saudi Arabia and Saad Al-Hariri, head of the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, once funded Al-Qaeda-inspired groups to bolster Al-Hariri's Sunni support and counter unease at his pro-Western policies. Building an armed Sunni force to counter Shia Hizbullah, or at least increase bargaining power with the group, was another motive. However, over the past few months, most believe the groups were ditched as part of Saudi- Iranian efforts to calm Sunni-Shia tensions in the region.

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