Lebanon News

The Lebanese Army anticipates instability and security challenges ahead

The Lebanese Army is facing numerous security challenges, and according to informed sources, these challenges are a reflection of the worsening political situation in the country, including the out-of-control rhetoric among politicians which has reached unprecedented levels of accusation, defamation and insults. This rhetoric is adding even more tension to a political climate that is characterized by a vertical divide and the overt affiliation of domestic groups with regional and international powers.

Sources do not hide the possibility that some of these security incidents are the results of foreign hands tampering with the already fragile Lebanese stability. By merely taking a look at the developments in our Arab world, we see that most states directly involved in Lebanese affairs are suffering from internal crises, which are pushing them to take advantage of the political and security cards they hold across the Middle East.

Some accuse Syria of trying to strike a blow to Lebanon’s security to distract the attention of the international community from the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators. Others are pointing their fingers toward the United States, which they say is exploiting the toppling of Arab regimes in order to implement its scheme to divide the region into weak statelets under the domination of Israel, being the strongest power. This scheme, they argue, requires striking a blow to the resistance axis, starting in Lebanon by implicating Hezbollah in security incidents that are actually fabricated by the U.S. and Israel. As for the rest of the parties in the region, they are making calculations based on their own interests, even if it means engaging in conflict.

 

Possible future challenges:

 

Residents of the Bekaa heard the sound of shots being fired for an hour from a military camp belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command. According to witnesses in the area, heavy traffic of 4x4 cars with tinted windows was also seen at the intersection of Naameh, south of Beirut and Qousaya inside the eastern mountain range near the Syrian border. It was discovered by individuals watching developments there that the arsenal of the Popular Front, which was founded by Ahmad Jibril in 1968, is being strengthened with the addition of Grad missiles, anti-tank missiles and missile launchers.

Western sources have information that the group could possibly carry out acts ranging from targeting diplomatic positions to launching missiles from south Lebanon toward Israel in order to increase tension along the Blue Line.

Meanwhile, sources in north Lebanon said that military training is being carried out in the mountains of Akkar by a political movement that is being provided with cover by municipalities, officials, political parties and social groups. The sources stress that the movement intends to create security problems for the Lebanese Army, which could coincide with the possible fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The sources say that they spotted around 5,000 men prepared for combat.

And finally there’s information coming from Mount Lebanon that a party is engaged in a new military training program and some1,500 participants have recently returned from Oman. Sources added that that the party is seeking to build a militia of 5,000 armed personnel in anticipation of facing security challenges next spring.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 22, 2011, on page 2.

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