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Damascus Tightens Grip on Lebanon

Damascus Tightens Grip on Lebanon
INTELLIGENCE NEWSLETTER N 411

gradually turning into a region attached directly to its powerful neighbor.
Syrian security and intelligence agencies are ubiquitous in Lebanon, as can
be seen by the crackdown on demonstrations by the Christian opposition in
the first week of August.

Arrests of Christians carried out by Lebanese military intelligence under
general Raymond Azar and by the Lebanese state security organization led by
general Edouard Mansour were ordered directly by Damascus. The order came
from general Ghazi Kenaan, head of Syria's intelligence network in Lebanon.

Syrian units operate completely independently in Lebanon and consider
their counter-parts in Beirut to be at their beck and call. Telephone
tapping is done exclusively at Syria's order, and an agent from Damascus is
on duty at every Lebanese telephone exchange.

The docility of Lebanese military and police officials stems from
long-standing Syrian policy. This consists of grooming Lebanese staff in
Syrian military and police academies and picking those most favorable to
Syrian doctrine for fast promotion.

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