Socialist Worker

Capture of key Syrian city by Assad’s forces edges war closer to Lebanon

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2357

Syrian government forces, supported by the Lebanese Hizbollah militia, retook the crucial city of Qusair last week. 

Rebels had held the city in western Syria for over a year. Qusair lies on important supply routes to Lebanon and across the country. 

This victory has given the government confidence to move forward towards rebel strongholds around the second city Aleppo. 

There is growing fear that the fighting will spread across the border into Lebanon.

The Lebanese military blocked streets in the capital Beirut with tanks last Sunday after a protester was killed in demonstrations outside the Iranian embassy. 

Foreign secretary William Hague said that Britain will hold a parliamentary vote before sending any arms to Syrian rebels. MPs are wary of involvement in a further conflict in the region. 

Western intervention in Libya has resulted in an enormous imbalance of power. Many of those were at the heart of the rebellion against former dictator Muammar Gaddafi are angry with the outcome. The country is now led by people who were had often remained loyal to him well into the rebellion.

Libya’s central government pays many militias that remained together after the civil war as paramilitary police.

Protesters marched on the base of one such “shield” militia in the city of Benghazi last weekend. They said it was out of control and should be disbanded.

The militia opened fire leaving 31 people dead and another 127 injured. The outraged crowd then over-ran the base.

The army chief of staff, who is responsible for the militias, has been forced to resign. Four militias in Benghazi have had to give up their bases.

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Tue 11 Jun 2013, 17:35 BST
Issue No. 2357
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