Ali Soufan Quoted in Esquire: A New War in the Middle East?
November 10, 2017
By: Sulome Anderson
While America churns in a frenzy of Trump-related news, the Middle East may be quietly devolving into further chaos. In the days since Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri announced his surprise resignation this past weekend, one question has moved quickly to the fore: Is another war brewing in the region?
The question comes, in large part, because of the strange circumstances surrounding Hariri’s resignation on Saturday. In a televised address from Saudi Arabia, Hariri said that he was stepping down because he feared that he would suffer the same fate as his father, Rafic, twelve years ago. In 2005, during his own term as prime minister, the elder Hariri was killed by a massive car bomb in Beirut by operatives alleged to have been working with Hezbollah and the Assad regime in Syria, both of which have strong connections to Iran …
Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent and the CEO of The Soufan Group, a security intelligence firm, told me that any movement of fighters and weapons from Syria to Lebanon would suggest that Hezbollah and its allies “are comfortable about the situation in Syria, especially after recent gains.” At the same time, he said, preparing for war may be Hezbollah’s means of trying to prevent it. “Moving troops is also sending a message: that we are ready for a conflict, and that can be a form of deterrence in itself …”
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