Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Monday, August 20, 2012

''US proxy war in Syria spreads to Lebanon and Iraq''

The intensifying proxy war in Syria is causing increased anxiety throughout the Middle East, where the specters of sectarian war and Western military intervention loom large. A series of kidnappings threatens to drag Lebanon deeper into the 17-month-long civil war in neighboring Syria, while 93 people were killed in Iraq on Thursday.

Al Qaeda’s role as a partner in a US-led Sunni sectarian war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is apparently strengthening its operations in Iraq. Some 190 people were killed by Al Qaeda attacks in Iraq over the last two-and-a-half weeks.

“The religious legitimacy of the Syria war and the increase of funding and fighters almost unquestionably benefits Al Qaeda in Iraq,” said Seth Jones, an Al Qaeda expert and counterterrorism expert with the RAND Corporation. “It is heavily involved in overseeing the war in Syria.”

Hundreds more Iraqis were killed in June and July, making the last three months the deadliest in over a year. Two weeks ago, over a dozen neighborhood officials resigned their posts in Baquba, citing fears that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki cannot prevent a resurgence of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

The conflict is also escalating in Lebanon, where deep-seated sectarian tensions are coming to the surface in a nation wrought with unresolved political discord.

On Tuesday night, masked gunmen belonging to the mostly Shia Muqdad tribe kidnapped over 20 alleged members of the Free Syrian Army in Beirut. The kidnapping was in retaliation for Monday’s kidnapping in Damascus of a member of the Muqdad family by anti-Assad forces in Syria. They accused Hassan Salim al-Muqdad of being a Hezbollah agent and supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a claim Hezbollah and the Muqdad family denied. Read More