Saturday, May 25, 2013

Anne Barnard and the clashes in Tripoli

There is no mystery at all about the triggers to the clashes of Tripoli.  You can even tell by two factors: 1) the clashes ALWAYS occur when the Salafites of Tripoli are upset over one reason or another (and this week they were upset upon the news of the offensive against Qusayr).  2) `Alawites in Tripoli are a mere 5% of the population and they are surrounded from all sides, and it is just impossible that they would instigate a fight, especially that they have been evicted from Tripoli and their businesses all stolen and set on fire.  But Anne Barnard does not note any of that:  "Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi, a retired senior security official from Tripoli, said Hezbollah, through Mr. Eid, started the fight to keep Sunnis from flocking to Qusayr after it realized its hope of taking the city in 24 hours was “delusional.”  She did not say the rest of the talk of Mr. Rifi, and did not say that he is a functionary of Hariri who started his career as a bodyguard for Rafiq Hariri, and who sits on the board of the Prince Nayif University for Security Studies.  She made him sound like an neutral observer.  She said that both sides in Tripoli blame the other, but only offered one side's account, without even mentioning that he represents one side.  Of course, the dominant view in Lebanon is that when the news of the offensive reached Tripoli, the Salafite thugs there started doing what they always do when they are angry: they started shelling Jabal Muhsin.  Even the official Hariri mouthpiece website reported that Tripoli was shelling Jabal Muhsin (see citation below).  And the theory of Rifi is dumb: as if Tripoli is the only place that supplies Salafite fighters for Syrian armed movement. 

""استمرار الاشتباكات والقذائف الصاروخية من باب التبانة باتجاه جبل محسن