The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

It seems that the Syrian regime is up to a new trick to try and maintain its influence over Lebanon even after the withdrawal of its regular troops from the country. This trick consists of granting Syrian workers present now on Lebanese soil working permits that are valid for 3 years and which are renewable.

The Damascus-appointed "Lebanese" Minister of Labor in the Taef regime has indeed issued a decision in this regard granting more than 800,000 Syrian workers the right to work in Lebanon and reside indefinitely in the country.

When allowance is made for the fact that the vast majority of these workers are either Syrian Army reservists or Syrian Intelligence operatives who in fact comprise 70% of the total pool of reservists in the Syrian Army, then the danger of the crime that is being prepared for the post-implementation phase of resolution 1559 by the Syrian regime via its collaborators and agents planted inside the institutions and government of Lebanon becomes clear.

As we draw the attention of the US and French governments and the UN Secretary General to the seriousness of this plot - conspiracy aiming at circumventing the aforementioned UN resolution and maintaining Syrian domination over Lebanon with this substitute army, we also warn the local collaborators of the Syrian regime against perpetrating such foolish actions and continuing their treason against their country because the day of reckoning is fast approaching and they will have to pay dearly for every crime they have committed.

Lebanon, at your service

Abu Arz

December 22, 2004