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March 23, 2013 11:00 am
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Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati Resigns

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Najib Mikati. Photo: Wikipedia.

WSJ – Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati resigned on Friday effectively dissolving the government and thrusting the country into political uncertainty at a time when the conflict in Syria is sparking sectarian tensions here.

Mr. Mikati’s resignation came as a result of a disagreement with the cabinet over extending the mandate of the Internal Security Forces Chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi.

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  • jerry hersch

    There are now over 350,000 Syrian ‘refugees’ in Lebanon.
    The demographics of which -against the Jordanain influx-would lend a hint to the army reserve deficit claimed by other for Assad’s forces.
    Normally the Syrian manpower is divided about ~250,000 regular and 250,000=/- reserves.Estimates on defections deaths and wouded are about 80,000(1/3 of Assad’s regulars).Of the remaining regular force only about 60,000 have seemingly been used…the other 110,000 are suspect as to regime loyalty.
    Few reserve units have been brought into play..even those composed largely of ethnically loyal groups.Most of the 110,000 unused are in ethnically mixed units.The reserve units are more locally based,as in the US,and so are not so homogenous.
    All in all it would seem likely that among Lebanon’s 350,000 refugees are possibly about 15-20,000 loyal reservists.A force large enough to keep the Lebanese army pinned -awaiting reinforcement.

    • jerry hersch

      Another concern is Jordan. If Assad moves his armor to the full coast it will most likely be the T-72s and T-62s …the T-55s most likely would be left for whoever could grab them.
      The coast and its interior generally north-south alignment of hilly terrain is not the most conducive to classic armored warfare.
      Whatever is left of the 2,500 T72/62 mix would have a too conifed operational zone to be effective or envasive or invasive.
      The 2000+ T55s (operational and repairable) are a great subjugator of people-but not a threat to Jordan if not coordinated with air power.
      The Beirut airport and the Lebanon’s three major military airports are a consideration to be neutralized before Assad shifts air assets.

      • jerry hersch

        If Assad’s airpower is prevented from using Lebanon’s airfields..it has two possible alternatives.
        Fly off over Iraqi airspace to Iran for later “repatriation”(saddam Husein tried that-remember) which would in all likelihood augment the already large Iranian air force.
        or-
        Be left to the insurgents -who would in all likelihood find pilots and maintenance crews.
        There are many aircraft –
        Somewhere between 350 and 500 fightr planes (Mig 21,23,25 and 29s) and about 100 Su22s and 24s( ground attack).
        Some have been lost destroyed or captured on the ground-a couple destroyed in the air.
        Whereever he goes his helicopter force will go with him (~100 attack helicopters and ~100 transports)

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