Syria: again on the spot

Despite the latest indications of a US-Damascus-Israel rapprochement, things seem to stay in standby. US renewed the economic sanctions over Syria, Israel is submerged in its own governmental conundrum  and, Hezbollah is moving towards a more internal Lebanese bounded strategy. Meanwhile, Iran’s regime, despite its new role as Shia leader in the region and even its economics profits from its shrines that since Iraq’s war are becoming the new pilgrimage place for millions of Shias, is still challenged by its own people.

Then what to do for Syria? Many hypothesis circulate in media and reports. Here is one form Stratfor: Getting Hezbollah tight to counter Iran leverage and to have  better card to play expecting that the Golan and the economic reintegration within a Syria-US-Israel deals happens.



Syria: Sowing Discord Within Hezbollah? by Stratfor

Global Intelligence, Stratfor, January 5, 2010

Sources claim that Syria is preparing a political comeback for former Hezbollah Secretary-General Sheikh Subhi al-Tufaili. Al-Tufaili’s potential return is designed to exacerbate existing rifts within Hezbollah and allow Syria to manipulate Lebanon’s militant proxy scene in its favor.

Al-Tufaili was Hezbollah’s leader from 1989 to 1991, but was expelled from the organization in 1998 after rebelling against the Hezbollah leadership over the group’s strengthening alliance with Iran and the leadership’s decision to integrate Hezbollah into Lebanon’s political landscape. Syria has since kept al-Tufaili in reserve in Lebanon’s northern Bekaa Valley, where he reportedly lives among his supporters. According to STRATFOR sources, Syrian intelligence in Lebanon regularly supplies al-Tufaili with cash and provides him with around-the-clock security. Syria has instructed Lebanese authorities to leave al-Tufaili alone and make no attempt to arrest him.

STRATFOR first heard of Syria preparing a comeback for al-Tufaili in July 2008. After keeping his name in circulation for a while, Syria now appears to be stepping up its support for al-Tufaili and reportedly is encouraging him to start a separate group that would attract disaffected cadres away from Hezbollah.



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