Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Showing posts for "Lebanon"

Iran Mocks President Obama by Honoring Mughniyeh

by Elliott Abrams

President Obama has a full court press under way to stop Congress from passing new sanctions legislation that could–could, not will–impose sanctions on Iran one year from now if negotiations break down or Iran cheats. The idea seems to be that passage of the bill would signal mistrust of Iran, or would break the spell of sincerity being cast at the negotiating table. Read more »

Syria: Greetings From Hezbollah

by Elliott Abrams

Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, spoke about Syria on Tuesday, and it is fair to say that he is not intimidated by American policy. The Nasrallah speech is a reminder that use of chemical weapons is not the only issue we face in Syria; the intervention of Iranian IRGC and Hezbollah troops is another. Read more »

Syria’s New Attack on Lebanon

by Elliott Abrams

Fears are expressed almost every day that the war in Syria will spread to Lebanon, or to all of Syria’s neighbors. The problem, however, is not that the war “will spread” as if by nature, inevitably, the way spilled water spreads, but that it will be spread–deliberately, by the Assad regime. Read more »

Who Will Speak Up for Lebanon?

by Elliott Abrams

Lebanon’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity were for decades violated by Syria, during the years of Syrian occupation: 1976 to 2005. After the occupation ended, the Assad regime in Syria continued to intervene in Lebanon, but less openly–for example by secretly arranging the murders a long series of Lebanese leaders and journalists who opposed Syrian interests. Read more »

Hezbollah Fighters in Syria

by Elliott Abrams

While there has been considerable discussion in the United States about jihadis who may be fighting in Syria against the Assad regime, less attention has been paid to the presence of Hezbollah fighters acting on the side of that regime.

Asharq Alawsat, the London Arabic-language newspaper, reports on this issue today in a story entitled “FSA: Hezbollah fighters in Syria, carrying out raids.” According to the FSA, the Free Syrian Army, there are also Iranian elements present. What are they doing? According to the newspaper’s sources, the Iranian are providing technical advice and assistance: “there are also Iranian specialists present in the northern areas [of Syria] close to the Turkish borders who have set-up operation rooms…in order to intercept the telephone calls of activists and FSA members…the Iranian specialists’ tasks include training, communication operations and uncovering activists.” But the Hezbollah men are operational: they are snipers. Read more »

Will Assad Return To Killing Lebanese Leaders?

by Elliott Abrams
Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces, speaks during a news conference at his house in Maarab village, north of Beirut, October 12, 2010. (Courtesy REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir). Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces, speaks during a news conference at his house in Maarab village, north of Beirut, October 12, 2010. (Courtesy REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir).

Throughout the past decade there have been a series of assassinations and attempted murders of political leaders in Lebanon. Almost all of these plots have one common element: the person whose life was threatened or taken was anti-Assad, and just about everyone in Lebanon believes Syria was behind or involved in the wave of violence. Read more »

Hamas Deserts Iran, and Lebanese Stand Up Against Syria

by Elliott Abrams

“Hamas rules out military support for Iran in any war with Israel,” reads a headline in London’s Guardian newspaper.

The statements by Hamas leaders that they “would not get involved” and are “not part of military alliances in the region” are significant. They show that Hamas wants to be on the winning side and has concluded that the Syria-Iran-Hezbollah axis is no longer on the ascendent. Only two weeks ago, Hamas started backing the Syrian opposition against the Assad regime that has so long been its host in Damascus. Read more »