LEBANON | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

LEBANON

Jul 23 06:06

Israel Hit Northern Lebanon Villages During Overnight Attack on Syria

Overnight, Israeli warplanes carried out an attack against Syria’s al-Qusayr, and as is so often the case, they attacked Syria from Lebanese airspace. Lebanon is planning to lodge an official complaint about that to the UN.

Beyond that, Israel appears to have hit several villages in northern Lebanon as well, with locals reporting blasts in several areas during the night. One of the biggest hit the village of Lehfed, creating a 15 meter crater.

The locals in Lehfed reported it was lucky that the rocket hit the rocks, noting it wasn’t far from a residential area and could’ve caused substantially more damage and casualties. As it is, the blast caused only broken windows.

Another rocket was reported to have fallen on the village of Mejdel. Blasts were reported elsewhere along the border between Syria and northern Lebanon. It’s not clear which of these were intended targets of Israel, and as usual Israel is not commenting.

Jul 23 05:40

Lebanon: Fury as health minister says reports of medicine shortages are 'rumours'

Lebanon’s minister of health, Hamad Hassan, has sparked outrage after stating that reports of medicine shortages in the country are rumours, and that the media and public are exaggerating the economic crisis in the country.

On Wednesday, one Twitter user asked Hassan to address the medicine shortages in Lebanon. Hassan responded: “Do not listen to the rumours from some media outlets. I don’t blame them. They’re clever at directing and sharing things, it’s their job,” he said in the tweet.

Online, many have criticised the minister for downplaying the severity of the situation in the country, and for suggesting that medicine shortages are not a widespread problem.

Jul 21 07:40

Israel Shells Lebanon, Warns Against ‘Spillover’ Violence

Israeli forces fired artillery shells into southern Lebanon overnight, retaliating against a pair of rockets entering Israeli territory from Lebanon. No casualties or damage were reported on either side.

Exactly how this latest exchange started isn’t entirely clear. Lebanon is undergoing a serious economic crisis, and stability is suffering. The Lebanese Army reported finding and disabling the rocket launching pads that were used, and which were near where Israel was firing.

Whatever happened, Israel’s DM Benny Gantz says that it is entirely the fault of the state of Lebanon because “it allows terrorists to operate within its territory.” Israeli officials also blamed Iran.

Indeed, PM Naftali Bennett said that “Lebanon is on the verge of collapse like any country in which Iran bases itself,” saying the Lebanese people are “taken hostage by Khamenei.”

Jul 16 05:28

Lebanese president defies U.S. and French pressure, rejects new government

Lebanese President Michel Aoun rejected Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri's proposal for a new government, prompting Hariri's resignation and deepening the country's political crisis.

Why it matters: Lebanon's political stalemate is contributing to the country's economic collapse, and caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab has been pleading for international help to avert an imminent “social explosion." But key international players say they'll withhold aid without a new government and economic and political reforms.

Driving the news: Hours before Aoun rejected Hariri's proposal, Secretary of State Tony Blinken and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had sent a joint message to the Lebanese president stressing the need to form a new government as soon as possible.

Jul 11 22:15

Lebanon slides closer to complete collapse as Israel fears Hezbollah’s expansion of influence

The country’s economy is cratering, there are shortages of fuel and medicines, and people are going hungry on the streets. Yet what does the West worry most about? Hezbollah helping the starving get food.

Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab has warned the international community that the country could collapse in days, as even Israel offers aid fearing the expansion of Lebanese Hezbollah’s power in the country.

Without having a formal government, a 90% decrease in the value of the country’s currency and 55% of the population living in poverty, Lebanon is in a crisis like no other since the nation’s founding.

Jul 08 07:29

Israel tries to whitewash its bloody legacy in Lebanon

Israel is once again trying to whitewash its crimes against Lebanon by offering the country “humanitarian aid.”

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz said Israel was “ready to act” and that he made his offer via UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, through Israeli army liaisons.

With Lebanon’s currency losing 90 percent of its value and supermarkets and pharmacies struggling to restock basic supplies, the country is experiencing a deep economic crisis.

Last August’s massive port explosion that devastated many parts of Beirut took the crisis to new levels.

Jul 08 06:20

Lebanon PM Warns Of “Social Explosion” After Fuel Price Hikes

Lebanon, which is in the midst of a severe economic crisis, is “days away” from a social explosion, the country’s caretaker prime minister warned on Tuesday, moments before renewed, violent protests broke out as people desperately search for essential medicines, gasoline and food.

“Lebanon is a few days away from the social explosion. The Lebanese are facing this dark fate alone,” caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab said in a speech during a meeting with international organizations and ambassadors.

“I appeal through you to the kings, princes, presidents and leaders of brotherly and friendly countries, and I call upon the United Nations and all international bodies, the international community, and the global public opinion to help save the Lebanese from death and prevent the demise of Lebanon,” Diab added.

Jul 06 06:36

‘Social explosion’ imminent in Lebanon, as nation teeters on brink of economic collapse – caretaker PM

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister has warned diplomats that the country is days away from a “social explosion” and called for help from the international community, as the nation tries to avert catastrophe.

Speaking after a meeting with ambassadors and diplomats in Beirut, Hassan Diab told officials that Lebanon was facing a “painful and dark reality,” due to the social and economic impact of its financial crisis.

During his address, Diab declared that the combined challenges meant “the country [was] a short distance from social explosion,” adding, “I call on the world to save Lebanon.” He paired his plea with a request not to punish his people for the actions of “corrupt” political figures.

Diab urged the diplomats in attendance to support his economic recovery plan, which has been developed and is ready to be implemented. Lebanon had been in talks with the International Monetary Fund over a $10 billion bailout, but that fell through over concerns about its financial sector.

Jul 01 19:30

Economic crisis, severe shortages make Lebanon ‘unlivable’

Ibrahim Arab waits in line several hours a day in the hot summer sun to buy gas for his taxi.

When he’s not working, the 37-year-old father of two drives from one Beirut pharmacy to another, looking for baby formula for his 7-month-old son — any he can find — even though the infant got severe diarrhea and vomiting from an unfamiliar brand.

He worries what would happen if his children got really sick. Once among the best in the region, Lebanon’s hospitals are struggling amid the country’s economic and financial crisis that has led to daily power outages that last for hours, shortages of diesel fuel for backup generators, and a lack of medical equipment and drugs.

After 20 months of suffering with no end in sight, a new reality is setting in for most of Lebanon’s estimated 6 million people: Days filled with severe shortages — from spare parts for cars to medicine, fuel and other basic goods in the import-dependent country.

Jun 29 06:16

Fatah Vows to Investigate Attack on Sputnik Correspondent at Palestinian Embassy in Lebanon

Sputnik correspondent Abed Albay was assaulted on Monday, while he was filming a rally involving both supporters and opponents of the Palestinian movement.

Fatah has dubbed the attack on the Sputnik journalist "unacceptable" and promised to carry out a probe in order to find those responsible for his beating.

"At the moment, I do not have information on this issue. I need just 30 minutes to get an update. But initially, we support freedom of the media and speak against any harassment of journalists. What happened is absolutely unacceptable. It is necessary to understand what happened, and find out whether these were our people or not", spokesman Mahmoud Said stated.

Jun 25 04:24

At Lebanon war memorial, Gantz says next conflicts likely to need ground troops

Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned on Thursday that future military conflicts are likely to involve Israeli ground troops.

Speaking at a memorial ceremony at Mount Herzl marking 15 years since the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, Gantz proclaimed that the IDF is “prepared to engage our full capacity.”

“In future campaigns, or, God forbid, in war, if we need to get into enemy territory, ground troops, both in regular and reserve duty, will constitute a central component of the fighting,” Gantz said. “We will use them if it becomes necessary.”

The defense minister noted that his statement applies to a potential future conflict along the border with Lebanon or anywhere else.

Jun 17 05:29

New energy minister meets US negotiator over Lebanese maritime talks

Energy Minister Karine Elharrar met on Wednesday with John Desrocher, the American mediator in the indirect talks between Israel and Lebanon over their disputed maritime border.

“Despite Israel’s strong legal case, we are ready to consider creative solutions to bring this issue to an end,” Elharrar, who took office this week, told Desrocher of the ongoing indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel.

Elharrar was also joined on Wednesday by Michael Ratney, the interim head of the US Embassy in Israel, as well as Udi Adiri, director-general of the Energy Ministry.

During the meeting, held in the Energy Ministry’s office in Jerusalem, Elharrar stressed that the ongoing negotiations with Lebanon are of the utmost importance despite the recent government transition, and said she is being kept up to date by Adiri, the head of Israel’s delegation to the talks.

Jun 09 11:46

Daredevil dies instantly after jumping 120ft from a Beirut cliff on to a tourist boat he didn't see despite desperate warning shouts from onlookers

  • Fahd Ibrahim Jamil Al-Lakma leaped off the side of the Raouche Rocks, Lebanon
  • He landed on a tourist boat emerging from a cave, injuring its captain
  • Fahd, from Syria, died instantly while the captain is being treated in hospital

A daredevil has died after jumping off a 120ft cliff into the sea and accidentally landing in a tourist boat.

Fahd Ibrahim Jamil Al-Lakma leaped off the side of the Raouche Rocks in Beirut, Lebanon on Sunday.

The Syrian failed to hear the warning shouts from onlookers that there was a boat directly below him.

The tourist boat had just emerged from a tunnel under the cliff which would have likely obscured his view.

Audible gasps are heard as the man, who hailed from the city of Hajin in Syria's eastern Deir ez-Zor Governorate, collides with the boat with an audible thud.

Jun 04 09:40

Google removes its head of diversity after 2007 blog post surfaces in which he claimed Jews have 'an insatiable appetite for war'

Google announced it's removing its global lead on diversity strategy and research from his post after it was discovered he'd made antisemitic comments in a past blog post.

Kamau Bobb will be reassigned to a STEM research role after The Washington Free Beacon uncovered a 2007 blog post by Bobb titled "If I were a Jew."

"If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself," he wrote in the now-deleted post.

"If I were a Jew today, my sensibilities would be tormented. I would find it increasingly difficult to reconcile the long cycles of oppression that Jewish people have endured and the insatiable appetite for vengeful violence that Israel, my homeland, has now acquired."

The post appeared to be written following an outbreak of violence between Lebanon and Israel in late 2007.

May 28 05:39

After humiliation in Gaza, Israel threatens Lebanon with war

Israel’s minister of military affairs Benny Gantz has threatened Lebanon with military strikes in the event of an attack from the north, saying raids on Lebanon would include bigger and more significant targets than those hit during the recent onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

“If an attack comes from the north, Lebanon will tremble… the houses in which weapons and terrorist operatives are being hidden will become rubble. Our list of targets for Lebanon is bigger and more significant than the one for Gaza, and the bill is ready to be settled if necessary,” Gantz said in a speech on Wednesday.

The remarks came after Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, warned Israel that any aggression on holy sites in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds would lead to a regional war and the destruction of the regime in Tel Aviv.

May 26 07:17

Nasrallah warns attack on Jerusalem al-Quds means regional war, Israel’s destruction

The secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has warned Israel that any aggression on holy sites in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds would lead to a regional war and destruction of the Tel Aviv regime.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in a televised speech on Tuesday, in his first address after the victory of Palestinian resistance groups in their fight against Israel during the regime’s latest war in the besieged Gaza Strip.

"Gaza surprised both friends and foes, to be honest," Nasrallah said. "And so, Israel misjudged the impact of its moves until matters reached a point when resistance in Gaza would have to carry out its threats."

Hailing the “steadfastness” of Palestinian resistance groups, Nasrallah said Israeli officials and military must reconsider their assessments based on what happened in the Gaza Strip and beware of the consequences of their aggression.

May 20 08:57

Israeli Artillery Strikes Targets in Lebanon in Response to Four Rocket Launches

Israel has been repelling attacks coming from the Gaza Strip since Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched hundreds of rockets on 10 May, some of them targeting Tel Aviv. So far, the rocket attacks have killed 10 Israelis and injured 50 more.

Four rockets have been fired from southern Lebanon towards Israel, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have reported. According to the military, the country's air defences intercepted one of the rockets, while two of them landed in the sea and the other in an uninhabited area.

May 18 06:45

Video: Israeli Artillery Responds After 6 Rockets Fired From Lebanon Towards Israel, IDF Says

As tensions have heatened up between Israel and the Palestinians since the beginning of Ramadan and resulted in rocket exchange in the south, between the Jewish state and Hamas, the de-facto ruler of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli northern border has not seen much of rocket fire from the Lebanese territory.

The IDF announced on Monday that rocket warning sirens were activated in the Misgav Am kibbutz, in the northern part of Israel, close to the border with Lebanon.

According to the IDF, six rockets were launched from Lebanon into Israel, but apparently all of the projectiles landed in Lebanese territory. The Israeli military also said that its "artillery forces fired toward the sources of the launches".

May 18 06:43

Could Hezbollah Save Lebanon From Potential Collapse as It's 'Preparing for Looming Doomsday'?

According to reports, the Shiite militia is purchasing food and medication from Iran in a bid to keep the economy afloat and the Lebanese public quiet. But a local journalist says it will not silence the Lebanese.

The month of Ramadan has been a challenge for many Lebanese. Food prices have gone up, unemployment rates remain high and many people continue to struggle with poverty on a daily basis.

In fact, the situation has become so acute that recent reports suggested that Hezbollah, a Shiite militia group that holds seats in the Lebanese parliament, has stepped up preparations for a possible state collapse.

May 18 05:44

IDF shells Lebanon after claiming rockets were launched toward Israeli territory

The Israeli military said it fired artillery shells into Lebanon in response to several rockets allegedly fired from across the border. Tel Aviv claimed none of the projectiles reached Israeli territory.

“[Six] rockets were just fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel, all of which fell inside Lebanon. In response, our artillery forces fired toward the sources of the launches,” the IDF said in a tweet late on Monday night.

Blasts were reportedly heard around the Misgav Am kibbutz in northern Israel shortly before the IDF announcement, triggering air raid sirens, and unconfirmed video footage has circulated online purporting to show the counterattack.

May 15 06:17

With Jordan, Lebanon border violence Israel faces 4-front conflict

Lebanese protesters, likely urged on by Hezbollah, tried to breach an area of a border fence in northern Israel on Friday near Metulla. In Lod, Israel continued a curfew after nights of violence that had the city looking like it was suffering a civil war.

In Gaza the IDF struck another Hamas anti-tank squad, one of a half dozen such units targeted in recent days. On the Jordan border, demonstrators supporting the Palestinians tried to break through to reach Israel and the West Bank. Israel is now facing a four-front conflict – its internal strife, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan – and possibly more violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

May 15 06:05

Hezbollah fully prepared to deliver crushing response if Israel attacks Lebanon: Analyst

Amid the Israeli regime’s ongoing military drills in the occupied territories, a Lebanese political analyst says the Hezbollah resistance movement is fully prepared to give a crushing response to Tel Aviv in case of any mistake, or attack on Lebanon.

The Israeli regime’s ongoing military drills aim to send a threatening message to the Hezbollah movement, amid the ongoing economic, social, financial and political crisis in Lebanon, Faysal Abdel Sater told Press TV on Thursday.

He added that Israel is staging the maneuvers at a time that it is aware of the resistance movement’s high power and simultaneous with a full-scale Palestinian uprising, which shows the depth of a critical situation that the regime is grappling with.

The Israeli military started early on Sunday what it claimed was its “largest” exercise, saying the drills would last about a month and the participants would practice combat and emergency scenarios in all fields.

May 14 10:53

Turkey’s Karpowership shuts down power to Lebanon

Turkey’s Karpowership, which provides electricity to Lebanon from two barges, said it was shutting down supplies over payment arrears and a legal threat to its vessels amid the country’s economic crisis.

The company, which supplies 370 megawatts (MW), or about one-quarter of Lebanon’s supply, told the government this week it would have to shut down in the absence of moves towards a settlement.

May 14 06:44

Rockets Fired At Israel From South Lebanon As Fears Grow Hezbollah To Enter Conflict

A big lingering unknown is whether Israel's powerful archenemy Hezbollah will open up a northern front to bog down Israel's military as it continues striking Gaza, and as preparations are underway for a potential Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) ground invasion into the Hamas-controlled strip.

Late Thursday at least three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon toward Israel, which the IDF military spokesman confirmed...

Given the rockets fired into northern Israel, the immediate question remains whether Hezbollah was responsible, and if the Shia paramilitary organization supported closely by Iran will initiate its own aggression. This would constitute a monumental escalation for Israel, assuring major regional war.

So far international reports are saying it's "unclear" who was responsible for the attack from Lebanon.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Or... could it have been Israeli military elements in Lebanon, attempting a "false flag" in order to justify an invasion of Lebanon?!?

If this is happening, expect it to get far worse, to justify the invasion; Israel desperately wants the Litani river, and will do nearly anything to be able to access that water....

May 09 06:59

Hezbollah on military alert ahead of massive IDF drill

Lebanese based Hezbollah terror group was put on high alert ahead of a month-long IDF drill that will begin on Sunday.

Israel's military maneuver will imitate the outbreak of war on multiple fronts including missile fire at civilian population areas.

Lebanon media reports Hezbollah increased preparedness in South Lebanon and on the Syrian Golan Heights.

Apr 24 07:29

IDF chief to make first US visit next week to discuss Iran, Hezbollah

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi will travel to the United States on Sunday to discuss the threat of Iran’s nuclear program and its entrenchment throughout the region, the military said Friday.

Kohavi’s trip — his first since entering his position — comes amid considerable tensions between the United States and Israel over the Iran nuclear issue. US President Joe Biden’s administration intends to return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, a move that Israeli officials, including Kohavi, staunchly and publicly oppose.

Shortly after Biden’s inauguration in January, Kohavi made waves with a particularly blunt, overt speech arguing against the US rejoining the deal, saying it was a “bad thing.”

Apr 21 05:21

Gantz warns Hezbollah of ‘heavy consequences’ if it threatens Israel

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday warned Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group that it will suffer “heavy consequences” if it acts against Israel.

Touring the IDF’s Northern Command with senior military commanders, Gantz said the Israel Defense Forces “is ideally prepared along the northern border and definitely on the Lebanese front.”

“We are aware of Hezbollah’s attempts to challenge us in new ways,” he said, without elaborating on the new tactics. “We will deal with any threat. If Hezbollah challenges the IDF and the State of Israel, it will suffer very, very heavy consequences and I hope they don’t do that.”

Apr 19 07:30

Hezbollah said making preparations for Lebanon’s possible collapse

The Hezbollah terror group is preparing itself for the possibility of the collapse of the Lebanese state amid a spiralling economic and political crisis, according to a report Friday.

Reuters said preparations include issuing ration cards for food supplies, stocking up on medicine and preparing to import and store fuel from Iran. It cited three sources with knowledge of the plans.

It said the plan would help protect Shiite communities Hezbollah dominates from the worst of such a national crisis, while expanding its already extensive role in Lebanese society.

Apr 16 10:16

Lebanon demands Israel halt gas search after expanding claims in disputed area

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun Thursday demanded Israel halt all exploration in an offshore gas field on its southern border, as part of an ongoing dispute over their shared sea frontier.

The countries, which are still technically at war, last year took part in indirect US-brokered talks to discuss demarcation to clear the way for offshore oil and gas exploration.

But those talks stalled after Lebanon demanded a larger area, including part of the Karish gas field, where Israel has given a Greek firm rights for exploration.

Apr 13 10:35

Cher says Republicans are trying to ‘achieve the dream’ of white supremacy in new Ga. voting laws

What are the details?
On Saturday, Cher targeted Republican lawmakers for passing the new voting law and said that the law amounts to nothing less than "VOTER SUPPRESSION."

Apr 10 05:44

Lebanon says Israel’s use of its airspace to attack Syria clear breach of international law

Lebanon has condemned “in the strongest terms” Israel’s use of its airspace to carry out a missile attack near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Lebanese Foreign Ministry expressed its "condemnation, in the strongest terms, of the air attack carried out by the Israeli enemy,” Lebanese National News Agency reported.

"While denouncing any attack on the sovereignty of brotherly Syria, and refusing to use the Lebanese airspace to target it, the Ministry expresses its full solidarity with Syria in the face of the repeated attacks carried out by the Israeli enemy."

The ministry called for international action to end the repeated Israeli attacks on Lebanon’s sovereignty which “constitutes a clear violation of international law, the Charter of the United Nations, and resolutions of international legitimacy."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Law, schmaw..." -- Israel

Apr 08 06:32

Israel Bombing the Outskirts of Damascus from Over Lebanon, Again

Israel carried out a new aggression against the Syrian capital Damascus shortly after midnight, the bombing targeted a Syrian Army post in the outskirt of Damascus.

A Syrian military spokesperson stated: ‘At about 12:56 a.m. local time today, April 8, the Israeli enemy carried out an air assault with bursts of rockets from the direction of Lebanese territory targeting some points in the vicinity of the city of Damascus, and our air defense media intercepted the aggression’s missiles and dropped most of them.’

Four Syrian army soldiers were injured in the bombing which also left some material damage, the military spokesperson added.

Syrian air defenses have shot down a number of illicit missiles, and Al Manar has just announced that one of Syria’s air defense missiles chased an enemy warplane to the border, at which point a very loud explosion was heard throughout southern Lebanon.

Mar 27 06:24

Lebanese PM says dangerous nuclear substances found at southern oil plant

Lebanon’s interim Prime Minister announced Friday that dangerous nuclear substances had been found at oil installations in Zahrani in the south of the country, according to a Reuters report.

PM Hassan Diab said that a report conducted by Combi Lift, a German heavy-lift transport company, had been reviewed by Lebanon’s nuclear energy authority, and it found the materials to be dangerous nuclear substances.

“This is something that needs to be discussed now and needs to be dealt with promptly,” Diab said in a statement.

Mar 21 07:43

US intensifying econ. pressure on Lebanon to force normalization of ties with Israel: Analyst

The United States has intensified economic and political pressure on Lebanon to force the country into joining the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a number of other Arab states in normalizing relations with the Israeli regime, says a political analyst.

In an interview with Press TV on Friday, Julia Kassem said the economic pressure applied by the US and its allies on Lebanon has been meant to force the Lebanese government into normalization with the Tel Aviv regime.

“The policies are designed to force an ouster of the pro-sovereign elements in Lebanon’s government, i.e. Hezbollah and its allies in parliament as well as President Michel Aoun, who is opposed to [Prime Minister-designate Saad] Hariri, the US, and their schemes, and install a complete administration compliant to US and Israeli demands of Lebanon,” Kassem said.

Over the past year, a number of Arab governments under the influence of the US have signed normalization deals with Israel.

Mar 19 06:45

Afghanistan: How Long Must This Go On?

The United States military and mercenary forces need to leave Afghanistan now.
Note: Does anyone remember why we are there in the first place!
The Cactus Moon is crying!

Mar 11 08:17

Could Lebanon Protests Lead to a 'Coup' & How Might NATO Capitalise on the Political Crisis?

Tensions continue to grow in Lebanon following the dramatic collapse of the Lebanese lira early last week, prompting people to take to the streets and protest the government's inaction. The country is teetering on the brink of explosion, warns Middle East expert Ghassan Kadi, weighing up the possible scenarios of how the situation may unfold.

On 9 March, anti-government protesters in Lebanon set up new roadblocks and lit tyres on fire amid demonstrations over the government's inability to tackle the economic crisis and crippling poverty. On Monday, the three main roads from Zouk, Jal el-Dib, and al-Dawra to the capital Beirut were closed by demonstrators.

Feb 22 11:22

Neo-Ottoman Turkey signals sweeping regional ambitions

James Dorsey analyses the significance of a recent broadcast by a Turkish TV station with close ties to President Erdogan depicting Turkey's sphere of influence in 2050 as stretching from southeastern Europe, through Libya, the Gulf and the Levant, and to the Caucasus and Central Asia.>>

Feb 11 09:19

IDF trains for fighting Hezbollah on Lebanese border in large two-day drill

The Israel Defense Forces’ Northern Command held a large-scale exercise along the northern border this week simulating a war in Lebanon, amid lingering tensions with the Hezbollah terror group.

The drill, dubbed “Thunderstorm,” tested the Northern Command’s ability to rapidly respond to outbreaks of violence on the border, the military said.

The exercise came a week after Hezbollah fired anti-aircraft missiles at an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon and amid warnings from Military Intelligence that the terror group may attempt to launch attacks on the border in the coming year.

Feb 03 08:33

LEBANON - BRITISH EMBASSY INFILTRATES MILITARY INTELLIGENCE, PROVIDES SNOOPING EQUIPMENT, INDOCTRINATES YOUNG PALESTINIANS

Keeping the Syrian border safe and secure is certainly not a British priority. Let’s not forget that it was Britain which hired various companies, led by 'former' British intelligence officers, who then organized and ran the propaganda campaigns for the Jihadi onslaught on Syria.

The same companies were hired to secretly create 'civil society’ groups in Lebanon that were then used to demonstrate for 'regime change’ and to pressure the Lebanese government. It was also Her Majesties Government which hired such intelligence cutouts to embed into and undermine Lebanon’s justice and security services.

Lebanon’s army was another target of British intelligence efforts to gain control over Lebanon’s policies.

Feb 02 07:23

Lebanon - British Embassy Infiltrates Military Intelligence, Provides Snooping Equipment, Indoctrinates Young Palestinians

Very excited to witness the arrival in Beirut of 100 armoured patrol vehicles, a donation from ???????? to @LebarmyOfficial. This is a great practical example of the ???????? ???????? partnership, and of our longstanding support for the LAF's vital role in keeping the Syria border safe and secure.

Keeping the Syrian border safe and secure is certainly not a British priority. Let's not forget that it was Britain which hired various companies, led by 'former' British intelligence officers, who then organized and ran the propaganda campaigns for the Jihadi onslaught on Syria.

The same companies were hired to secretly create 'civil society' groups in Lebanon that were then used to demonstrate for 'regime change' and to pressure the Lebanese government. It was also Her Majesties Government which hired such intelligence cutouts to embed into and undermine Lebanon's justice and security services.

Lebanon's army was another target of British intelligence efforts to gain control over Lebanon's policies.

Jan 29 11:23

Lebanese protester 'shot dead' in Tripoli as authorities crack down on anti-lockdown demonstrations

A Lebanese man died on Thursday of wounds sustained during a fierce police crackdown on anti-lockdown protests in the northern city of Tripoli, state media reported.

The man, identified only as O.T. by the National News Agency, was among more than 220 demonstrators injured during the third night of protests on Wednesday, but who later died of gunshot wounds, according to reports.

Local media reports have identified O.T. as Omar Tayba.
"My brother was in Tripoli watching the protests when he was hit," Ahmed Tayba told AFP. "He was transferred to hospital and died this morning."

The demonstrator was "shot in the back" with live ammunition, the director of local Nini Hospital told Al-Jazeera reporter Timour Azhari.

Tayba underwent emergency surgery before succumbing to his injuries early on Thursday morning, the hospital said in a statement.

Jan 29 11:23

In Pictures: Lebanon anti-lockdown protest turns deadly

One person has died and 200 others have been injured in the Lebanese city of Tripoli during a third night of clashes on Wednesday between security forces and demonstrators angered by a coronavirus lockdown that has worsened an already severe economic crisis.

Omar Tayba, 29, who sustained a bullet wound late on Wednesday, became the first fatality of the protests that erupted earlier this week.

Protesters threw petrol bombs and stones towards security forces, who responded with tear gas, an AFP correspondent said.

The National News Agency said 226 people had been injured in the evening – 102 of them treated by the Lebanese Red Cross, and another 124 by the Islamic Medical Association.

At least 66 people had been admitted to hospitals.

Jan 25 08:38

In Lebanon, Israeli warplanes terrify a traumatised population

Over the last month, Israeli jets have carried out some of their biggest air raids yet in Syria, apparently striking Iranian targets. It may have been the Lebanese next door, though, who trembled with greater fear. Some took cover under a table or a sink, others hid in their cars.

The roar of low-flying jets flying in from the Mediterranean over Beirut is especially tormenting to those who experienced the August 4 port blast that left nearly 200 people dead, thousands injured, and hundreds of thousands homeless.

Jan 23 08:28

Israeli army says it downed drone that came from Lebanon

Israel’s military said on Friday it downed a drone that crossed from Lebanon and would continue to protect its sovereignty.

With frictions high between Israel and Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, drone activity is common along the border. It is not infrequent for one side to report shooting down an unmanned aircraft dispatched by the other.

“The drone was monitored by the Israel Defense Forces throughout the incident,” the military said in a statement, without giving further details.

Dec 28 06:50

Hundreds of Syrians flee Lebanon camp after tents torched

Hundreds of Syrian refugees fled their makeshift camp in north Lebanon after their tents were torched when fighting broke out between local youths and camp residents, aid officials said on Sunday.

At least three people were wounded in the clash on Saturday in the Miniyeh region near the coastal city of Tripoli, which was followed by youths setting the campsite on fire, Lebanon’s state-owned National News Agency said.

Lebanon has seen a rise in tensions between refugees and residents in recent years that humanitarian workers and politicians say have been fuelled by both racism and anger of Lebanese who blame refugees for taking their jobs amid a financial crisis.

Dec 18 08:08

Beirut explosion: Judge suspends blast probe amid political pressure

The judge overseeing an investigation into the massive explosion that rocked Beirut in August has suspended the probe after two ministers he charged with negligence requested that he be removed, according to judicial sources.

Judge Fadi Sawwan on 10 December issued charges against former caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab and high-ranking former ministers Ali Hassan Khalil, Ghazi Zaiter and Youssef Fenianos over the 4 August blast.

The four were charged with "negligence and causing death to hundreds and injuries to thousands more" in one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history.

Dec 14 09:38

NEW DOCUMENTS SHOW HOW THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT SECRETLY CREATED 'REGIME CHANGE’ PROTESTS IN LEBANON

Three month ago we reported on documents obtained from of 'Her Majesties Government' in Britain which revealed the intense involvement of the UK government in organizing, financing and propagandizing 'Syrian rebels' since the start of the war on Syria. These programs were coordinated with the CIA's and the Gulf Arab's arming of the various Jihadis:

Most of the documents are detailed company responses to several solicitations from the Foreign Office for global and local campaigns in support of the 'moderate rebels' who are fighting against the Syrian government and people.

The documents lay out large scale campaigns which have on-the-ground elements in Syria, training and arming efforts in neighboring countries, command and control elements in Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, as well as global propaganda efforts. These operations were wide spread.

Dec 08 10:52

Historic hailstorm hits Beirut, Lebanon

A massive hailstorm accompanied by exceptionally heavy rain and drastic temperature drop hit Lebanon's capital Beirut on December 5, 2020, causing massive floods and traffic chaos. The last time Beirut witnessed a similar event was back in 1968.

The hailstorm lasted about 1 hour and was described by meteorologists as historic.

"This supercell affected only the coastal area around Beirut and its suburbs. A supercell effect is always local. Weather stations in Beirut recorded 50 mm [1.96 inches] of rainfall in a lapse of 25 minutes," Elias Saadeh, founder of Lebanon Weather Forecast, told Al Arabiya English.

"This quantity is considered enormous since it is equivalent to pouring 50 liters of water in each square meter [13 gallons per 10 feet2] in 25 minutes. Moreover, this supercell caused a drastic drop in temperature from 21 to 13.5 °C [69.8 - 55.4 °F] in a couple of minutes," Saadeh said.

Dec 06 07:47

Lebanon: The Paradise from Hell

In the old days there was no more charming city in the eastern Mediterranean than Beirut. Set on a maritime plain with the mountains rising dramatically behind it, the scenery was magnificent, the culture charming, the people hospitable and the city rich in history.

Unfortunately, however, Lebanon’s prime geographical position sucked the country and its capital into the vortex of regional and international politics from the 19th century onwards. Sectarianism and the inability of the people to put the interests of their country ahead of their faith dragged it further down. There was no more potent weapon in the armory of scheming outside powers than this massive fault line running through Lebanese society.

Nov 11 07:41

Flatten Beirut: US professor’s advice for Israel

A George Washington University professor has overtly suggested that Israel should “flatten Beirut” — Lebanon’s capital with around 1 million people — in order to allegedly destroy the missiles of Lebanon-based resistance group Hezbollah.

Professor Amitai Etzioni, the prominent American scholar who teaches international relations — and who has taught at a variety of prestigious US universities, including Columbia, Harvard and Berkeley, and who served as a senior advisor in President Jimmy Carter’s administration — made this proposal in an op-ed in Haaretz, the leading English-language Israeli newspaper.

The newspaper, also known as “The New York Times of Israel” represents the liberal wing of Israel’s increasingly far-right politics.

Nov 06 23:54

Lebanon’s Gebran Bassil downplays US sanctions

"...The leader of Lebanon’s largest Christian bloc, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Gebran Bassil, says he is not intimidated by the sanctions that the United States has imposed against him.

“Sanctions have not scared me, nor promises tempted me,” Bassil, who is the son-in-law of Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, tweeted on Friday following the announcement of the sanctions..."

Nov 06 23:49

Lebanon’s Gebran Bassil downplays US sanctions

"...The leader of Lebanon’s largest Christian bloc, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Gebran Bassil, says he is not intimidated by the sanctions that the United States has imposed against him.

“Sanctions have not scared me, nor promises tempted me,” Bassil, who is the son-in-law of Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, tweeted on Friday following the announcement of the sanctions..."

Oct 30 06:16

Mass Protests Over Caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in Beirut - Video

The escalation between Paris and Muslim countries occurred earlier this month after the brutal killing of French history teacher Samuel Paty on 16 October by a radicalised teenager for displaying caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad in class. The incident was followed by a gruesome assault in Nice this week that claimed the lives of three.

A mass demonstration calling to respect Islam and its Prophet Muhammad hit the Lebanese capital after numerous Muslim countries and organisations slammed French President Emmanuel Macron for criticising Islamism and urging to "free Islam in France from foreign influence and strengthen control on the mosques' funding", calling it an attack on Muslims. The president also cited "freedom of the press" when commenting on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo's decision to re-publish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Oct 23 06:22

In pictures: Lebanese women descend on home of parliament speaker

Protesters from across Beirut gather outside Nabih Berri's home to condemn him and the country's current political class

Oct 18 06:14

Is Israel about to launch another war against Gaza or even Lebanon?

New polls conducted by Israeli media suggest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s support is at an all-time low, with Israeli news outlet ‘Maariv’ finding that 54% of Israelis want Netanyahu to step down. So will it soon be an opportune time for Netanyahu to attack Gaza or Lebanon in a bid to regain public support?

Fears were re-ignited on the 5th of October after Israel bombarded the Gaza Strip following reported rocket fire from Gaza. As Israel has been holding back from implementing some of the agreements, according to Hamas, to an earlier negotiated truce, threats came from the resistance in Gaza to ignite a war in order to end the illegally imposed Siege by Israel. The ceasefire truce, which has currently held, with two flare-ups in between, was done from Qatar as a mediator and was intended to ease the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza, through the administration of funds and opening of projects inside of the besieged coastal enclave.

Oct 16 05:40

Trump's Mideast Peace Plan Reaping Rewards As Lebanon & Israel Hash Out Agreement

Lebanon's parliament speaker met Thursday with a traveling U.S. official, a day after Beirut began complicated negotiations with Israel over their debated maritime border.

David Schenker, a U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, the best American diplomat for the Middle East, did not talk to reporters after he met with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

Berri has been the main Lebanese official dealing with U.S. mediators concerning the conflict with Israel over the past decade.

Oct 14 05:52

Israeli and Lebanese officials hold first border negotiations in 30 years

Israeli and Lebanese officials on Wednesday morning sat down in the same room — or tent, to be exact — for indirect maritime border negotiations in what has been called a “historic” achievement with the potential to bring more stability and prosperity to the region.

However, both countries have stressed that the talks, which lasted for about two hours, are merely aimed at resolving a decade-old dispute on the exact delineation of each other’s territorial waters in an area that may contain undersea natural gas reserves, and do not presage peace negotiations or a normalization process.

Oct 13 06:33

Four Reforms to Save the Lebanese Economy

In 2008, the Beirut Stock Exchange grew by 51%, the best performing exchange in the world at the time. Despite significant conflict in 2006 with Israel, the Lebanese economy was able to grow by at least 8% during the peak years of the global financial crisis. This was followed by a period of stable growth from 2011-2017. However, Lebanon’s economic fortune started to change. High government debt, a devalued currency, and an overreliance on exports put the Lebanese economy in an unstable position. As the country turns 100, a restructuring of the country’s economy is the birthday gift the citizens desperately need.

Oct 05 06:11

Will Lebanon be the Next US-NATO Humanitarian War? The Elimination of Hezbollah is Israel’s Top Priority

The waters off Lebanon are the scene of a gathering Armada of French and American naval ships. What appeared at first to be a humanitarian response to the devastating Beirut Port explosion on August 4, is now feared to be the prelude of the next US-NATO humanitarian war.

French President Emmanuel Macron blamed Hezbollah and all of the Lebanese politicians Sunday and warned of a new civil war. “I’m ashamed of the Lebanese political leaders. Ashamed,” Macron repeated.

He accused them of “collective betrayal” while putting their parties and personal greed above the needs of the Lebanese people.

Some political observers now believe that Lebanon may well be going the way of Somalia, as evidenced by the characteristics of a failing state, such as lack of governance, corruption and incompetence, chronic humanitarian problems, and persistent social tensions.

Oct 01 10:30

'War To Come': Israel Exposes Iran-Linked Missile Sites As Iran Readies 'Final Battle'

The Israel Defense Forces revealed two alleged Hezbollah missile production sites in Beirut Tuesday night, on top of another one Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed to reveal during an address to the United Nations earlier that night.

IDF claims, all three sites are tied to the precision-guided missile project the terror group have been trying to make for the past couple of years, an effort to convert its massive arsenal of simple rockets into highly accurate missiles, which will greatly challenge the Israeli’s air defense and could be a game changer between the two rivals.

Sep 30 06:34

As Lebanon Reaches 'Gates of Hell', Beirut-Based Journalist Mulls Over Reasons for Current Mess

Corruption is far from being the only reason for Lebanon's economic woes, thinks a Lebanese journalist, who has been covering the situation for months. Another issue is the sectarianism that still stands in the way of forming a new government.

In Lebanon, President Michel Aoun's predictions appear to be coming to fruition.

Last week, the Lebanese head of state warned that his country would be "going to hell" if it failed to form a functioning government but several days down the line Mustapha Adib, the man tasked with doing exactly that, submitted his resignation, citing his inability to bridge the gaps between the country's multiple players.

Sep 23 07:15

Huge Explosion Hits South Lebanon Centered On Hezbollah Arms Depot

A powerful blast in south Lebanon caused temporary panic after it was heard and felt for miles away on Tuesday.

Images and video of the explosion spread across social media Tuesday, with initial conflicting reports saying it was either the result of an Israeli attack, or a gas station that went up in flames.

Sep 20 05:18

Britain, France, and Germany Spurn US Plan for Iran Sanctions

Trump Administration officials have been saying this for weeks, but on Friday reiterated their intentions to try to enforce a UN Security Council resolution that includes broad sanctions against Iran. Officials say they expect every nation to comply.

The glaring problem with this is that the resolution doesn’t exist, at least not as an active resolution the US wants. The P5+1 nuclear deal gave the US the authority to reimpose sanctions on Iran, but the US had withdrawn from that pact years ago. Though the Trump Administration argued that didn’t matter, the UN has virtually unanimously rejected their interpretation, and rejected the UN Security Council resolution. The US believes the resolution becomes active Sunday, but the reality is it just doesn’t exist legally.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These actions spell desperation on the cusp of madness, and the world is not following suit; so, what is next here, an invasion of Iran?!?

Considering just how "brilliantly" the other US occupations around the world are going, you might imagine it might just be time for a "re-think" on this; but of course, Israel's Bibi Netanyahu will not allow that to happen; he wants the US waging war against Iran, so Israel will not have to.

Sep 15 05:30

Iran's Resistance Film Festival Key to Undo Hegemony of US Films: Canadian Journalist

"...A Canadian journalist and political analyst described the 16th Resistance International Film Festival underway in Iran as important in the face of the hegemony of American films..."

Sep 14 06:02

90 UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon contract coronavirus

Ninety UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a spokesman for the UNIFIL force said on Sunday, the first reported cases of the illness.

The confirmed cases were transferred to a special UNIFIL facility equipped to deal with COVID-19 cases, UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti said in a statement.

Sep 09 01:42

Iran Seeks Revenge For Sabotage Attack On Natanz Nuclear Plant

Iran has identified the perpetrators of an act of sabotage at Natanz nuclear facility in the central part of the country in July, according to a spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Behrouz Kamalvandi said that while the details of the act of sabotage are still being investigated, the security forces “have detected the agents [who committed the act of sabotage] as well as the motive, methods and manner of the sabotage.”

The AEOI for the first time described the July 2 incident at the Natanz nuclear facility as a sabotage attack on July 23, and since then pro-Iranian sources have repeatedly vowed to take revenge for the attack.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Defence Minister Amir Hatami announced that the country is working to expand its missile capabilities even further. In particular, the military is working on air-launched cruise missiles that would be able to hit targets in the range of up to 1,400km.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And we have a companion piece, also from antiwar.com, with the following title:
Iran moves its centrifuge-manufacturing in Natanz deep Underground.

Sep 08 11:42

War of nerves: Israel begs Hezbollah to retaliate

As we explained in our article What happened —and didn’t happen— at the Israel-Lebanon border?, Israel has been on high alert at its northern border since its July 20 strike in Damascus that killed a Hezbollah fighter. Three similar experiences have proven, in 2014, 2015 and 2019, that a bloody retaliation is inevitable, and fear has paralyzed northern occupied Palestine for more than a month.

Sep 04 09:00

Lebanon's military finds 4 tons of ammonium nitrate near scene of Beirut port explosion

The Lebanese military discovered more than 4 tons of ammonium nitrate near Beirut's port on Thursday, a find that's a chilling reminder of the horrific explosion a month ago that killed 191 people.

Aug 31 06:19

Hezbollah Chief Vows Not to Stop Attacks Until Israeli Soldier Killed

Hezbollah will slaughter an Israeli soldier for every militant killed as a means of “deterrence,” the Iran-backed terror group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday.

“Let the Israelis understand that whenever they kill one of our mujahideen [jihadists], we will kill one of their soldiers,” he said in a televised speech. “We are committed to an equation. Our objective is not revenge but punishment and to establish a balance of deterrence.”

Recent weeks have seen an escalation in provocations by the Lebanon-based group, triggered by the alleged killing of Hezbollah commander Ali Kamel Mohsenwith on July 20 by the Israel Defense Forces. Since then, the IDF has thwarted at least three infiltrations as well as bringing down a Hezbollah drone flown into Israeli territory.

Aug 27 12:58

Israel fires phosphorous shells at Lebanon’s southern border: Media

Lebanese media say Israeli forces have fired phosphorous shells at areas along the country’s border with the occupied territories.

Lebanon’s al-Manar television channel announced late on Tuesday that the Israeli occupation forces had fired phosphorus bombs at Lebanese territories in the southern towns of Houla and Mays al-Jabal.

Witnesses also said Israel had fired dozens of illumination flares at border villages in southern Lebanon over what the regime claimed was a "security-related incident.”

Israeli media initially said the firing was amid concerns over a possible infiltration near Kibbutz Menara in the Upper Galilee area, located near the Lebanese border and the Israeli-occupied side of Golan.

The firing of more than 30 flares was followed by orders compelling Israeli settlers in five communities to stay at home.

Aug 27 10:10

Netanyahu vows 'forceful' response if more attacks from Lebanon

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel views with "great gravity" the latest flare-up on the Lebanese border and pledged a tough response in the event of further incidents.

"We shall react forcefully to any attack against us," Netanyahu said in a statement. "I advise Hezbollah not to test Israel's strength. Hezbollah is once again endangering Lebanon due to its aggression."

Israel and Hezbollah fought a devastating month-long war in 2006.

Israel said earlier it had launched air strikes against Hezbollah observation posts in Lebanon after shots were fired from across the border towards its troops the previous evening.

The border flare-up came hours after Lebanon rejected an Israeli call to reform the UN peacekeeping force which patrols the border ahead of a UN Security Council vote to renew its mandate.

Aug 27 09:39

Lebanon to complain to UNSC about Israel border escalation

Lebanon says it will file a complaint with the United Nations Security Council about a recent Israeli attempt at escalation that saw the regime fire dozens of flares over the country’s border.

The country’s Supreme Defense Council announced the plan during a meeting chaired by Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Wednesday, Lebanon’s official National News Agency (NNA) reported.

Early in the day, Israel’s Channel 12 said the regime had fired more than 30 of the projectiles into Lebanon.

Lebanon’s al-Manar television network, however, described the projectiles as phosphorous shells and identified the targeted areas as the southern Lebanese towns of Houla and Mays al-Jabal.

Aug 26 07:09

IDF: Security incident on Lebanese border; residents told to stay home for hours

The Israeli military reported an unspecified “security incident” along the Lebanese border on Tuesday night, ordering residents of the surrounding area to remain in their homes. (Update: Restrictions were lifted on Wednesday morning.)

The Israel Defense Forces fired flares into the sky around the northern Galilee, near the community of Manara, as the military searched the area to ensure that no one had breached the border after troops reportedly heard gunshots at an outpost along the frontier.

Aug 26 06:50

Lebanon: Inconvenient Truths About Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and the Shia ‘Street’

There’s been a lot of nonsense passing as truth in post-blast Lebanon reporting. Most centers around alarmism about Hezbollah’s nefarious influence, the West’s "opportunity" to destroy it, and the supposed struggle with Russia, China, and Iran for paternalist-preeminence in a country that isn’t ours (or theirs) to preside over in the first place.

Aug 20 05:49

Washington dangles aid offer for blast-devastated Lebanon, as long as Beirut dances to its tune

A senior US official has declared that no outside aid can fix Lebanon’s problems, yet in the same breath offered funds to alleviate the country’s problems - provided Beirut toe the American line.

In the aftermath of the devastating explosion that levelled much of Beirut and killed more than 200 people, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale has condemned Lebanon’s ruling elite, declaring that his government cannot fix the country’s problems from outside.

Aug 18 09:11

Beirut blast ‘100 percent Israeli job’: Advisor to Iran’s Leader

Iran’s former defense minister and current military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the recent deadly explosion in Beirut was “100 percent an Israeli job” meant to pit the Lebanese nation against Hezbollah and disarm the resistance movement.

In an interview with China’s Phoenix Television broadcast on Sunday, Hossein Dehqan stressed that nothing is expected from the Tel Aviv regime other than crime.

Asked about the August 4 blast in Beirut, Dehghan replied, “I think what happened is 100 percent an Israeli job” as it targeted food stocks.

“What is the message when you destroy the lifeline of a crisis-hit country that already has problems in this regard, except to put pressure on the people to create room for another purpose? In my opinion, this is 100 percent an Israeli job,” he added.

Dehqan also said that when the Israelis do something, they quickly make up a story to divert attention from it.

Aug 17 06:11

Ex-Mossad, IDF intel, think tank try to predict Lebanon’s future

The recent Beirut explosion and the resignation of the Lebanese government could mean that Israel will be faced with new and crucial political and defense policy choices, according to Boaz Ganor, the director of IDC Herzliya’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT).

Aug 15 07:37

Escobar On Battleground Beirut: Western Colony Or Back To The East?

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times

Facing oh so timely color revolution-style “protests”, the current Lebanese government led by Prime Minister Diab has already resigned. Even before the port tragedy, Beirut had requested a $10 billion line of credit from the IMF – denied as long as trademark, neoliberal Washington consensus “reforms” were not implemented: radical slashing of public expenses, mass layoffs, across the board privatization.

Post-tragedy, President Emmanuel Macron – who’s not even capable of establishing a dialogue with the Gilets Jaunes/Yellow Vests in France – has opportunistically jumped in full neocolonial mode to pose as “savior” of Lebanon, as long as the same “reforms”, of course, are implemented.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Lebanese people deserve far better than what they have received from whatever the next government shapes up to be, and I hope they get a government who will put the needs and concerns of the Lebanese people first, second, and third.

Aug 13 22:34

Beirut blast: dozens of historic buildings in Lebanon capital at risk of collapse

About 60 historic buildings in Beirut are at risk of collapse following last week’s devastating port explosion, Lebanese officials have warned, as the UN’s cultural agency vowed to lead the international campaign for the recovery and restoration of Beirut’s heritage.

At least 8,000 buildings, many concentrated in the historic quarters of Gemayzeh and Mar Mikhael, were affected, said Sarkis Khoury, director general of antiquities at Lebanon’s Ministry of Culture, according to Unesco. Among them are some 640 historic buildings, approximately 60 of which were at risk of collapse, he said.....

Aug 13 09:09

The seven years of neglect, and 13 minutes of chaos, that destroyed Beirut

Residents across central Beirut were peering quizzically at a mushroom cloud of grey above their heads when the sky cracked open and a tidal wave of pressure roared through.

It was like sound itself had imploded in everyone’s ears. The world simultaneously broke apart and snapped shut. Bodies were pulled into the air and thrown across rooms and streets. The facades of apartment blocks, offices and hospitals were peeled off and chewed into pieces.

The explosion unleashed warring tornadoes of pressure that wrestled everything off the walls and the floors, spitting shrapnel that cut through the air like bullets. The power of the blast instantly eviscerated windows, smacked down buildings, crumpled steel shutters and crushed cars like a giant’s fist.

“It was like an atomic bomb,” says Hala Okeili, 33, a yoga instructor who was less than a mile away from the port when disaster struck. “I thought they had started a war and someone was bombing us.”

Aug 13 04:32

Mystery Deepens As Investigators Trace Ownership Of Chemicals That Blew Up In Beirut

Lebanese and international investigators have yet to identify the owner of the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate which sat languishing in Beirut's port for seven years before it detonated amid an accidental warehouse fire on Aug.4, killing over 200 people and injuring more than 6,000.

It was estimated to be worth $700,000 by 2013 prices, but no one ever came forward to claim it. It's still a mystery even after Cypriot authorities at the request of Interpol late last week finally interviewed the man who originally abandoned Rhosus, a Russian businessman named Igor Grechushkin, during the ship's ill-fated intended trip to deliver the substance to an explosives maker in Mozambique.

Aug 13 04:29

With Beirut Reeling After Blast, US Prepares 'Maximum Pressure' Sanctions On Lebanon

Just a week after the August 4 Beirut port explosion the Trump administration is about to ramp up a "maximum economic pressure" campaign on Lebanon targeting Hezbollah and its allies.

With the country reeling in the wake of the deadly blast - its worst disaster going back to the destruction and death of the 2006 war - Washington is attempting to "drive a wedge between Hezbollah and its allies as part of a broader effort to contain the Shiite force backed by Tehran," as The Wall Street Journal writes.

Aug 11 12:37

Investigation: Excessive force used against Beirut protesters

Enraged over a massive blast in Beirut last week, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital on Saturday to call for accountability and the downfall of the country's ruling class.

A large number of protesters threw stones and other projectiles. They faced tear gas, rubber bullets, and birdshot fired from shotguns.

Aug 11 12:36

‘We could have saved more lives’: How Beirut firefighters were left to tackle port explosions blind

The firefighters who likely died in Beirut’s port explosions were not provided keys to the burning warehouse at the epicentre of the blast or shown its location, costing them precious minutes that could have saved lives, officials revealed on Monday.

Speaking to The Independent, fire department officials said the “unusual” lack of information during last Tuesday’s emergency call delayed the already ill-prepared crew, meaning they were not able to contain an initial smaller fire that likely detonated a stockpile of 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate.

Aug 10 11:19

Lebanese PM Hassan Diab announces resignation of entire government amid protests triggered by Beirut explosion

Lebanese PM Hassan Diab has officially announced the resignation of his entire government following days of protests sparked by the catastrophic explosion which levelled parts of Beirut last week.
Earlier, Health Minister Hamad Hassan confirmed to reporters that the resignation would be imminent.

Addressing the nation on Monday evening, Diab said he was with the people calling for responsibility for the "crime." Diab said the explosion was the result of endemic corruption.

I thought I could remedy this [corruption], but it is larger than the state and systemic...Therefore I announce the resignation of this government

Aug 09 08:41

Lebanese PM Calls for Early Elections, Blames Corruption for Beirut Blast Amid Massive Protests

Prime Minister Hassan Diab was appointed to his post in January 2020, succeeding Saad Hariri. Diab’s short time in office has been racked with instability from events mostly out of his control, starting with the coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying economic crisis, and culminating in the August 4 explosion in the port of Beirut.

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab has called for new parliamentary elections, saying they are the only way to take the country out of its current crisis.

“We cannot get out of this structural crisis without holding early parliamentary elections,” the independent Sunni politician said Saturday in a televised address.

Diab clarified that he would be ready to continue carrying out his duties for the next two months until all of Lebanon’s political parties can agree on how to proceed.

Aug 09 08:40

Beirut Live Updates: Over 70 Security Officers Injured, One Dead in Clashes With Protesters

The protests are taking place in the aftermath of a huge blast at Beirut's port on Tuesday, which has killed at least 158 people and left some 5,000 injured and 300,000 homeless.

Demonstrations resumed in the Lebanese capital earlier in the day, with protesters demanding the resignation of the government and social reforms. Protests have already been marred by violence, with demonstrators throwing projectiles and police firing tear gas.

The number of people injured in ongoing clashes between police and protesters in central Beirut has climbed to 490, according to local media reports.

Aug 09 08:39

Watch Grim Footage in Violence Plagued Downtown Beirut Amid Clashes Between Police, Protesters

The Lebanese capital descended into chaos on Saturday in the wake of Tuesday’s massive explosion in Beirut’s port, which killed at least 157 people, injured over 5,000 others and displaced 300,000 more. Demonstrators are calling for the nation’s government to resign.

A Sputnik Arabic correspondent in downtown Beirut has filmed dramatic footage of the situation in capital amid ongoing clashes between protesters and security forces.

Aug 09 08:34

‘Resign or hang’: Protesters in devastated Beirut turn fury on Lebanon’s leaders

Protesters in Beirut occupied government ministries, set fires and faced off against security forces Saturday in an outpouring of anger directed at Lebanon's leaders following the huge blast that ripped through the city earlier this week.

As the battles raged, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab delivered an address to the nation that left little doubt that the political establishment intends to dig in. He offered early elections and said he needed two more months to secure an agreement among the country's political factions.

Aug 09 08:34

Newly-emerged VIDEO shows how intense the Beirut explosion was, as search for more than 60 missing still underway

New footage shows the horrifying moment when Lebanon’s capital, Beirut was hit by a devastating shockwave from a deadly explosion at the city’s port. More than 60 people are still believed to be missing.

Rescue teams continue to clear the rubble in search of victims of the two blasts that devastated much of Beirut on Tuesday.

The short clip obtained by RT’s Ruptly video agency starts with bewildered residents staring at the giant mushroom cloud of thick smoke left by the first explosion at the capital’s port area. A few seconds later the second, more loud and powerful blast occurs, sending an intense shockwave far into the city streets.

Aug 08 12:10

Beirut police fire teargas at protesters demanding justice over explosion

Police in Beirut fired teargas and rubber bullets at thousands of people who had turned out to demand accountability for one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions the world has seen. They also shot live ammunition in the air, in an attempt to disperse the furious crowds.

Driven by anger at the corruption and incompetence that appears to have fostered Tuesday’s tragedy, people gathered from early afternoon in the city’s central Martyrs Square, where activists have erected a mock gallows for Lebanon’s top politicians.

The protesters chanted: “The people want the fall of the regime,” and held posters saying: “Leave, you are all killers.” More than 150 people died in the blast, about 6,000 were injured and at least 60 are still missing, according to the health ministry.

As the dust from the explosion settles, its political fallout is just beginning to be felt, reviving a protest movement that last year toppled the prime minister but left the system he presided over almost intact.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem for Lebanon is that without fundamental changes in the system, things for the Lebanese people will never get better, and something like this inconceivable catastrophe could well happen again.

I understand the desperation these people are feeling; it comes with voting and voting and voting, and nothing fundamentally changes; nothing with which we here in the US could ever identify, right?!?

Aug 08 07:57

Beirut explosion: former port worker says fireworks stored in hangar

Angry Lebanese plan major protest on Saturday, one day before team investigating explosion reports to cabinet.

Dozens of bags of fireworks were stored in the same hangar as thousands of tonnes of ammonium nitrate at Beirut’s port and may have been a decisive factor in igniting the explosive chemical compound that fuelled Tuesday’s huge explosion, a former port worker and other sources have told the Guardian.

As angry Lebanese plan a major protest in central Beirut on Saturday, scrutiny has focused on how 2,750 tonnes of the dangerous material could have been stored so close to residential neighbourhoods for years – despite repeated warnings of the risk it posed.

A former port worker, Yusuf Shehadi, told the Guardian he had been instructed by the Lebanese military to house the chemicals in warehouse 12 at the port despite repeated protests by other government departments.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF what this guy is telling the Guardian is true, the Lebanese people have every right to be industrially ticked off at their government's, and military's, "magical thinking", even when they understood the dangers represented by this dangerous mix of fireworks, and ammonium nitrate.

And we have a very sad companion story, also out of antiwar.com, to which I hope the people of this planet will respond:

Lebanon faces 'grim' prospect of food, medical and housing shortages

Aug 07 05:53

False Alarm: Rocket Sirens Sound in Northern Israel Near Lebanon Border

Earlier, the Israeli air force struck facilities reportedly controlled by Hamas in the Gaza Strip after several explosive balloons had been launched from the Palestinian enclave.

The Israeli military confirmed on Twitter that ?rocket alert sirens, which went off in northern Israel on Friday morning in the upper Galilee region, were a false alarm.

Aug 06 15:21

'It's crystal clear Hezbollah are in charge of the port and warehouse': Leading Lebanese politician blames terrorist group and 'corrupt' government for catastrophic explosion – as aerial images reveal blast even sank a cruise ship

A leading Lebanese opposition figure has blamed Hezbollah, along with the country's 'corrupt' government, for the devastating explosion in Beirut which capsized a cruise ship and has so far claimed 137 lives.

Bahaa Hariri, whose father, Prime Minister Rafiq, was assassinated in 2005, said last night everyone in the city knew Hezbollah controlled Beirut's port and airport and it was inconceivable that the authorities did not know the deadly ammonium nitrate was stored in a warehouse there.

Speaking for the first time Mr Hariri, 54, said: 'The question we have to ask is how come for six years this combustible material was allowed to remain in the middle of this city of two million people?'

Aug 06 08:12

Live Updates: Lebanon Declares Two-Week State of Emergency in Beirut

Many people have been injured after an explosion rocked Beirut, Lebanon, causing significant damage to houses in the nearby area, LBC TV reports, citing the health minister.

A powerful explosion has taken place near a port in Beirut, Lebanon, a Sputnik correspondent has reported.

According to Sputnik’s correspondent, the explosion was preceded by a small pop, with black and white smoke appearing five minutes after.

The blast was so powerful that the windows of surrounding houses and shops were destroyed kilometres away from the epicentre, the report said.

Aug 06 08:11

Beirut Blast Brings Lebanon Years Back Amid Crucial Need for Aid – Cyprus Political Economist

At the moment of the explosion in the port of Beirut on 4 August, Professor Andreas Theophanous was at his home in Nicosia. His first thought was that there has been an earthquake. After checking online, he found out that Beirut had been shook by a large explosion.

Sputnik spoke to Mr Theophanous, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Nicosia and President of the Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs, to discuss the blast and its economic and political repercussions for Lebanon and the wider region.

Sputnik: Cyprus experienced a somewhat similar incident in 2011, when a large amount of ammunition and military explosives self-detonated at the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base. What lessons has Cyprus learned from the tragedy that can be applied in the case of Beirut?

Aug 06 08:09

Russian Satellite Shows Dreadful View of Aftermath of Destructive Explosion in Beirut's Port

The massive explosion that hit the Lebanese capital's port damaged over half of Beirut’s buildings and roughly 300,000 people have been made homeless, the city’s Governor Marwan Abboud has said.

Russia's Roscosmos state corporation has shared satellite photos of Beirut's port before and after the apocalyptic explosion that destroyed much of the city. The photos were taken by Russia's Canopus-B satellite, developed by the All-Russia Research Institute of Electromechanics (NPP VNIIEM), and designed for remote sensing of the Earth.

Aug 06 08:08

Watch Beirut Blast Rattle Church in Chilling Footage

The Lebanese capital was rocked by a massive explosion on Tuesday that struck the city's port, leaving at least 80 dead and thousands injured. It also caused extensive damage to buildings, resulting in hundreds of people being left homeless.

A horrifying video has emerged online that shows a church mass in Beirut be interrupted by a powerful blast in the city's port, the shockwave of which caused the windows of the building to shatter.

In the footage, the priest is seen performing a ritual in front of the altar when the lights go out and the building begins to shake. A few seconds later, the church windows are blown in, causing the priest and the congregation to flee for their lives.

Aug 06 08:04

The cargo that blew up Beirut: Sailor REVEALS troubled history of doomed ship that brought TONS of explosive fertilizer to Lebanon

The explosion that devastated Beirut has been linked to a mishandled ammonium nitrate cargo confiscated from a foreign ship. Now a former crew member tells RT the vessel, owned by a dodgy businessman, was a disaster in the making.

Some 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate – a highly explosive fertilizer – went up in a terrifying blast in Beirut on Tuesday, Lebanese officials have said. The mushroom-shaped explosion left a wasteland where the city port stood, turning the surrounding buildings into ruins and killing more than 100 people. Thousands of others have been injured in a kilometers-wide radius. Personnel from the port authorities have been arrested while a probe has been launched into the mishandling of the dangerous material. But how did this ludicrously large cache end up in the Beirut port in the first place?

Aug 06 07:57

Iran sends humanitarian aid to Lebanon after blast

Iran sent its first and second batch of medical and humanitarian assistance to Lebanon, after a massive explosion in Beirut which has killed more than 100 people and wounded over four thousand others so far. The blast damaged buildings across the capital , sending a giant cloud into the sky.

The number of fatalities and those wounded is expected to rise as search and rescue operations are still underway. Some reports say up to 300,000 have also been left homeless by Beirut explosion.

Speaking to Press TV, the Iranian Red Crescent Society officials said they will send more humanitarian assistance to Lebanon in the coming days and by any means necessary. They also said they have offered the option of treating some of the injured in the Iranian hospitals.

22-member medical team, including general practitioners, orthopedists, anesthesiologists, operating room specialists, pediatricians, neurologists, nurses and field hospital experts were also dispatched to Lebanon on Wednesday.

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