When the chips are down
Posted by Godefroi on July 18, 2007
Of course, this is a long-standing tactic, going back to Muhammad himself…make a deal for now, with the intention of resuming hostilities once our side is stronger.
Militants say ready to talk to end Lebanon fighting
By Yara Bayoumy
BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Islamist militant group battling Lebanese troops at a Palestinian refugee camp said on Wednesday it was willing to resume talks to end the fighting, a move that came after it lost ground in a two-month-old battle.
Like I mentioned…an old tactic. Similar to when Arafat constantly mentioned the Treaty of Hudaybiyya at Oslo.
Lebanese troops have entered the battered Nahr al-Bared camp in northern Lebanon and seized further territory, cornering the al Qaeda-inspired militants and pressuring them to surrender.
Fatah al-Islam’s spokesman, Abu Salim Taha, who had not been heard from in more than a month, told Al Jazeera television by telephone that “right now, perhaps there is no objection for negotiations and political solutions to return to reality”.
“The ball is in the court of the other side, the court of those behind the army,” said Taha, who Palestinian sources said last month had been wounded in battles.
The call is unlikely to be taken seriously by the Lebanese army which is said to be days away from crushing the militants in a battle that has so far killed 231 people in the worst internal violence since the 1975-1990 civil war.
“We don’t want anything but for them to surrender. All of this is a media propaganda because the noose is tightening around them,” a military source said.
At least 109 troops, 81 militants and 41 civilians have been killed in the camp and other areas in fighting that erupted on May 20.
109 troops vs. 81 militants…I think their military needs some more target practice.
Several mediation efforts, mostly by Palestinian faction representatives and Palestinian religious scholars, have failed to end the crisis. Taha said most of the civilians fled Nahr al-Bared except some who remained to fight alongside them.
“The army … gave the Fatah al-Islam elements numerous chances to surrender without any bloodshed,” said army commander General Michel Suleiman in a statement.
“But these criminals continued their futile stubbornness … which did not leave the army command with any option except to take the decision to end this abnormal phenomenon by force.”
(Additional reporting by Laila Bassam in Beirut, Nazih Siddiq in Nahr al-Bared and Firouz Sedarat in Dubai)
© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.
Get more here.