The Assad regime has closed the Joussieh-Qaa border crossing in northeast Lebanon, the Lebanese National News Agency reported today. Syrian authorities gave no explanations for the closure, which comes amid reports of arms smuggling through the border.
An-Nahar reported today that four trucks loaded with weapons tried to cross the Douris area near Baalbeck last night. The Lebanese army forced them to "turn back and vanish into the darkness". This is the same area where the Lebanese army intercepted a Hizbullah truck carrying rockets recently.
Meanwhile, and while we are left to wonder about the fate of the four (or five) trucks, the Arab League delegation was treated to a "slide show" by Fouad Siniora on the confessions of detained Fatah al-Islam fighters, linking the terrorist group to Syrian intelligence. According to An-Nahar, Siniora used maps to show the delegates military positions in the Bekaa valley, presumably belonging to the Damscus-based PFLP-GC and Fatah Intifada.
The Arab League delegation is on a quasi fact-finding mission, also doubling as an initiative, although secretary-general Amr Moussa refused to describe it as such. The delegation has been touring the Lebanese officialdom, listening to divergent points of views. It's not like the Arabs don't already know everything there is to know. Hopefully, Siniora's facts, which he refuses to share with commoners like us, helped clear some of the more muddled Arab brains. Sadly, however, the delegates began their tour at Berri's, who told them the cause of the problems in Lebanon and Palestine is "lack of unity", and urged them to "find out what our national partners want", in reference to March 14. By the time they got to Jumblatt's house, their numbers had shrunk because the Qatari delegate is apparently boycotting the Druze leader, who has been accusing the Qatar Emir of backing the Syrian-Iranian axis and sabotaging a "Saudi-Iranian initiative".
Today, the representatives of the league met Syrian-installed president Emile Lahoud, who said he was not in favor of forming a second government. This confused many in March 14 and possibly Hizbullah supporters who had been led to believe that the "opposition" would resort to that measure if parliament failed to elect a president.
Anyway, Amr Moussa said he would report the results of his talks to the Arab League secretariat, which would then decide on a course of action. After Walid Eido's assassination, March 14 asked the Arab League to boycott the Assad regime. I expect the Assad regime to close the remaining border at Masnaa and blow up at least half of Lebanon before Arab officialdom unites against the Assad regime. And why would they? The countries that count on the international scene, namely Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, are already silently boycotting the Assad gang.
All this raises many pertinent questions about the point of the Arab visit, the Arab League in general, and any "initiative" that does not openly acknowledge the destructive Syrian and Iranian roles not only in Lebanon, but also in the land many will soon stop calling Palestine.