Haaretz is reporting that Lebanon may be getting ready to explode into civil war.
The latest reports from Lebanon describe a frightened country; the Lebanese are terrified about the prospect of a slide toward civil war. Several reports speculate that Beirut residents are arming themselves in expectation of a flare-up of violence between the two main antagonists in Lebanon today: Hezbollah and its allies on the one hand, and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his supporters on the other. … A Lebanon-based website has in recent days posted an interview with an arms dealer who lives in Beirut and reports that there has been a rise in the sale of light firearms. He says the sales have spiked as a result of a clash in a Beirut neighborhood, Burj Abu Haidar, between an extremist pro-Syria Sunni group and Hezbollah militants; four people were killed in the skirmish (one was a Hezbollah commander, who died at the start of the fighting ).
In the meantime, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon this week has opponents of Hezbollah worried. The visit, perceived as a blunt statement about Iran’s influence over Lebanon, has stirred concerns over how incendiary Ahmadinejad might be when he visits the southern part of the country and tours sites near Israel’s border.
Please read the entire article for more very important information.
Analysis. Haaretz is the pro-Labor Party newspaper in Israel so I am surprised to see an article that describes this level of fear among the Lebanese population. The Jerusalem Post does not have an article equivalent to this article. Asharq al-Awsat, which is a Saudi funded newspaper from England, has an article describing Hassan Nasrallah’s request for lots of Lebanese to turn out for Ahmadinejad’s visit. Al Arabiya has nothing on the situation in Lebanon.
It appears that the Lebanese are preparing for a level of sectarian warfare not seen since the 1980s. It was that level of strife that finally allowed the Syrian Army to occupy Lebanon as part of “Greater Syria”. The article goes on to remark that Syria might begin to be worried about the level of Iranian influence in Lebanon. According to other articles I have read, the problems are expected after Ahmadinejad leaves and cluster around Hezbollah’s demand for the destruction of the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon. In which case open violence may not begin until Thursday night US time. Although there may well be violence among the pro Saad Hariri factions with the intent of keep Ahmadinejad from visiting Lebanon.
This must be watched very carefully. All relevant factions in Lebanon, the Syrian Army and the IDF will be on full alert. An accident here can easily lead to a much bigger mess.