CIA Gets Go-Ahead to Take on Hizbullah

[Telegraph-UK] Toby Harnden - The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has been authorized to take covert action against Hizbullah as part of a secret plan by President George W. Bush to help the Lebanese government prevent the spread of Iranian influence. The finding was signed by Bush before Christmas after discussions between his aides and Saudi Arabian officials. It authorizes the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies to fund anti-Hizbullah groups in Lebanon and pay for activists who support the Siniora government. The secrecy of the finding means that U.S. involvement is officially deniable. Bush's move is at the center of a fresh drive by America, supported by the Sunni states of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, as well as Israel, to stop Iranian hegemony in the Middle East. "There's a feeling both in Jerusalem and in Riyadh that the anti-Sunni tilt in the region has gone too far," said an intelligence source. "By removing Saddam, we've shifted things in favor of the Shia and this is a counter-balancing exercise."

2007-01-11 01:00:00

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