Syrian Influence Is Seen in Lebanese Parliamentary Vote

As the four-week Lebanese elections approach their last round on Sunday, opposition leaders, critics and Western diplomats contend that Syrian intelligence operatives, intertwined over 15 years with the Lebanese security services, are still operating here and influencing the vote despite the withdrawal of Syrian troops and official denials from Damascus. “The Syrians are still controlling the army, the security services,” said a former high-ranking Lebanese intelligence officer, who stipulated that his name could not be used because of the danger of assassination. “They issue orders by phone, by e-mail, by fax,” the former officer said. “Everybody in this government is still manipulated by Syria.”

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