BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - Aug. 20, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of pan-Arab newspapers Monday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.

Al-Hayat

Hezbollah wants to send messages through the chaos after the kidnapping of Hassan Meqdad

Many political and diplomatic circles dealt with the chaos and anarchy in Lebanon on Wednesday and Thursday as more than just spontaneous retaliation by the Meqdad family for the kidnapping of Hassan Meqdad in Damascus.

The circles, after watching the accusations an reactions on television that the chaos was intentional in the Hezbollah and Amal-controlled areas of south Beirut, said Hezbollah might have wanted to send political messages by letting develop in such a manner.

The circles said comments made by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah that things spun out of Hezbollah and Amal’s control was unconvincing, just like most of the March 14 coalition – in the words of ex-PM Fouad Siniora – believes what happened was no coincidence.

Asharq al-Awsat

British intelligence aiding rebels in Syria, Berlin spying

Kurdi to Asharq al-Awsat: Every intelligence agency in the world is active in Syria ... But no one provides us with information or arms

The Free Syrian Army denied Western media reports yesterday that British intelligence helped the rebels in Syria to carry out attacks on regime forces and that German spies stationed off the coast of Syria were transmitting information to assist the opposition fighters.

The Sunday Times quoted an unnamed Syrian opposition official as saying that UK intelligence helped the rebels carry out several attacks on Syrian regime forces, including destroying a convoy consisting of 40 tanks near a town southwest of Aleppo earlier this month.

The newspaper quoted the official as saying that the British authorities "know about it and approve 100 percent the transfer of confidential information from its military bases in Cyprus via Turkey to the rebels in the Free Syrian Army."

In parallel, Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper said German spies stationed off the coast of Syria are transferring information to assist the Syrian opposition fighters in their battle against Assad.

However, the deputy commander of the Free Syrian Army, Col. Malek Kurdi, told Asharq al-Awsat the British and German reports were “baseless,” pointing out that "all the intelligence agencies in the world are active in Syria, but they are there to take information and not give it to the rebels."

 

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