Friday, August 20, 2010

Lebanon Braces for a Turbulent Fall

The IDF, LAF and STL


"August has not seen a week without Lebanon making headlines. And mounting domestic and foreign pressures indicate the same may hold true in September.

The need for an unprecedented joint visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Beirut to stem nascent sectarian tensions; the outbreak of violence along the Lebanese-Israeli border; the killing of the leader of Fatah al-Islam—an al-Qaeda-inspired group operating in the shadows of the country’s Palestinian refugee camps; evidence presented by Hezbollah chief Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah backing claims that Israel was behind the February 2005 assassination of late Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri after elements in his group are now expected to be indicted for the murder; all point to the precarious situation the country finds itself....

Compounding these strains and the constant anxiety over what pretext Israel will use to launch another military assault on Lebanon is the expected fallout from the STL report, due to be released in the coming months. If it does overlook the telling signs of Israeli involvement in the plot to kill Hariri and fingers Hezbollah, the potential exists in Lebanon for sect to be pitted against sect, faction against faction, and coalition against coalition, sowing internal strife and leading to disarray in government—just as Israel intended.
Lebanon seems set for a turbulent fall."

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