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"It (withdrawal) should be very soon and maybe in the next few months. Not after that. I can't give you a technical answer. The point is the next few months," he told Time magazine.
Joe Klein has the story for Time, and the blurb on their site has plenty of weasel room, but the commitment is explicit:
TIME: Could you give me a timetable?
ASSAD: It's a technical issue, not political. I could not say we could do it in two months because I have not had the meeting with the army people. They may say it will take six months. You need to prepare when you bring your army back to your country. You need to prepare where you will put the troops.
Assad still claims to need the Lebanese buffer zone against Israeli invasion, but that excuse wore thin over a decade ago when his father signed the Taif accord to completely withdraw, back in 1989. The only thing that's changed has been the American will to enforce international demands for accountability, which has allowed the Lebanese the opening to demonstrate so effectively in the streets of Beirut for Syria's ouster.
Assad knows that Syria is through in Lebanon. He may drag it out to June or July, but he's finished there, and he knows it. The Lebanese may not allow them to wait to the end of March to get out, "technical" issues or not. Those demonstrators won't stop until Syria leaves, and Assad knows the US won't let up either.Sphere It View blog reactions
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» Don't Let the Door Hit You on Your Way Out from RightPundit
Syria's dictator Bashar Assad has told Time Magazine that he will withdraw Syrian troops from Lebanon "within a few months" (Hat tip: Captain's Quarters): TIME: Can you tell me when you will you be out of Lebanon? ASSAD: Out completely? ... [Read More]
Tracked on March 1, 2005 11:08 PM
» Syria out of Lebanon Now! from Josh's Weblog
The fallout from the assassination of Rafiq Hariri continues. The US government has followed up on its temporary recall of its ambassador “for consultations” and has followed up with a strong statement (from a Fox News article: “The f... [Read More]
Tracked on March 2, 2005 6:59 PM
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