Officials hint Syria preparing to withdraw all troops from Lebanon
Syria is reportedly considering withdrawing more forces from Lebanon in the coming months. Two prominent Lebanese allies of Syria, Information Minister Elie Firizly and parliament member Nasser Qandil, have hinted separately to local newspapers about the Syrian move.
"My reading of the facts is that Syria is very keen not to engage in a conflict with the international community and be against the resolutions of the United Nations," Firizly told reporters Thursday.
Qandil was quoted in Thursday's al-Balad newspaper as saying: "Take into account that the Syrian forces will be outside Lebanon during the next parliamentary elections," which are due in May.
Asked if Syria might abruptly pullout all its 14,000 soldiers remaining on Lebanon soil, Firizly said: "Everything is possible." But the decision would have to be taken by the governments of both countries, he added.