Sources to <i>Albawaba</i>: US demands Syria to pull out of Lebanon before year-end
The Syrian army made Tuesday its recent redeployment of forces in Lebanon in a move that has been described by sources as a response to massive US pressure on Damascus to pull out its troops from Lebanon by the end of this year.
By completing the recent redeployment the number of Syrian soldiers in Lebanon has dropped to 20,000 from 35,000 in 2000.
The managing editor of the Lebanese daily al Nahar, Jubran Twaini, said the Syrian withdrawal and redeployment have come late and should have been completed 10 years ago. “This redeployment is carried out with the hope of setting a timetable for a complete withdrawal from Lebanon in accordance with an agreement to be reached between the two countries,” Twaini told Albawaba.
The managing editor slammed the Lebanese government, which he considered responsible for the delay in the withdrawal of the Syrian forces from the country.
He added that “the Syrian forces complete withdrawal will take place but definitely under a different Lebanese government that represents all the Lebanese people and not the present government which has failed to implement its commitments.”
On the other hand Twaini views the present Syrian withdrawals as a reaction to extensive American pressures, expecting that all the Syrian forces would be out of Lebanon by the end of this year.
“The redeployment of the Syrian forces is a signal sent by the Syrian regime to the US,” said Twaini.
The US, which has been resented from Syria because of its stance towards the war in Iraq, described the presence of the Syrian forces in Lebanon as an occupation.
The Israeli daily Maariv has recently reported that the US told Syria that it needs to accelerate its withdrawal from Lebanon.
The US sources said, “the Syrians believe that the Americans will be busy in Iraq and consequently will reduce their pressure on them but they are mistaken. The US will continue to press and isolate Syria.”
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