Regional powers have been playing a tricky game of cloak and dagger.
In Iraq, interesting Timeline. After the disappearance of Askagari, some Iranian diplomats were made prisoners by the Americans, then some others were mysteriously kidnapped. Following the kidnapping of the British sailors, an Iranian diplomat reappeared, released by his captors… Then presto, the sailors were "pardoned". Askagari and a few others remain unavailable, however, but the Iranians have some hope of visiting those who remain under lock and key.
In Syria, Clutching at straws. Pelosi’s idiotic trip, for all here protests to the contrary, only gave the Syrians renewed hope. The Syrians and their apologists are making much hay out of a trip whose prime reason was crassly political, related to the coming presidential election in the
While I understand their concerns about their own safety, their adamant is not helping ease tensions. Even those who support their right to arm bears lest open season be declared on them are being political opportunists; on the long run, few Lebanese are willing to go back to the days of the "Cairo agreement" and the Fatahland.
As they consolidate their little canton, Hezb is only “fixing” its weaknesses. They may be under pressure by
In any war, Hezb has nothing to “fall back” on. For all practical purposes, the “Dahyeh” has already fallen militarily, with supply lines effectively closed at Damour. Control of the South depends on coastal cities, as well as the region around Hasbaya and Marjeyoun, none of which is securely under Hezb’s control.
The Beqaa and Baalbeck may appear to be a stronghold to outsiders, but Hezb’s control there is vulnerable in two ways. First, any significant supply is controlled from Anjar, with the mountain passes limited to smuggling. Second, Hezb’s control over the region depends on the goodwill of rival Clans, so any alliance with one clan upsets all the others...
Hezb is aware of it, as evidenced by reported attempts to consolidate a continuous territory with land purchases and intimidations. They though they had hoodwinked them into fruitless talks, and did not expect March 14th latest cornering of Berri, which brought us closer to either reckoning, or the deflation of Nasrallah’s soufflé...