Across the Bay

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Fredo Wants Respect

An-Nahar's online front page today carried this paragraph (English link via Naharnet):

عبارات تهديد من الأسد الى جنبلاط

نسبت امس "وكالة الصحافة الفرنسية" الى شهود عيان انهم رأوا عددا من ضباط المخابرات السوريين يجولون في الاسابيع الاخيرة في البقاع والشمال. وقال مرشح موال لتيار الحريري للوكالة، طالبا عدم الكشف عن هويته: "هؤلاء الضباط الذين يحمل بعضهم الجنسية اللبنانية ويعرفهم اهالي المنطقة، يطلبون من رؤساء البلديات والمخاتير ان يقترعوا وان يدفعوا الناس الى الاقتراع للمرشحين المقربين من دمشق".واشارت مصادر قريبة من النائب وليد جنبلاط الى ان الرئيس الاسد قال عبارات "تهديد" بحق جنبلاط امام شخصية لبنانية اجتمعت اليه قبل اسبوعين في دمشق.


Threatening Words from Assad to Jumblat

Yesterday, AFP quoted eyewitnesses as seeing a number of Syrian intelligence officers wandering around in the last few weeks in the Bekaa and the North. A pro-Hariri candidate, told the Agency on the condition of anonymity: "these officers, some of whom carry Lebanese passports, and are well-known by the people of the area, are asking the mayors and heads of municipalities to vote, and push people to vote, for the pro-Syrian candidates." Sources close to MP Walid Jumblat pointed out that President Assad issued words of "threat" to Jumblat in front of a Lebanese figure who met with him two weeks ago in Damascus.

Jumblat revealed yesterday the names of Syrian intelligence officers still in Lebanon, and the US spoke a Syrian hit list targeting various key Lebanese figures. Jumblat, based on intelligence information he claims to have received, had earlier warned Saad Hariri, the Patriarch Sfeir, and... Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah, to take extra precaution.

The UN and the US issued an ultimatum to Damascus warning of "severe reckoning" should there be any more assassinations of Lebanese.