Friday, May 09, 2008

Beirut Burns

Hezbollah supporters burn tyres and barricades on the main road leading to Beirut's International airport in Beirut May 8, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Things are heating up in Lebanon with Hezbollah and Amal terrorists joining forces and fighting in the streets of Beirut reports Ynet News:
Hizbullah gunmen took control of large areas of Beirut on Friday in a third day of fighting between the pro-Iranian group and fighters loyal to the US-backed governing coalition.

During the fighting Gunmen loyal to Hizbullah forced the pro-government Future News television off the air, a senior official at the Beirut station told Reuters. Future News is owned by Saad al-Hariri, leader of Lebanon's US-backed governing coalition.
"An army officer accompanied by members of Hizbullah walked into the station and told us to switch off transmission. We are off the air," said the official. Security sources said Hizbullah and fighters from the allied Amal movement had overrun offices of Hariri's Future group across the predominantly Muslim western half of Beirut. Gunmen had also taken over the offices of Hariri's Al-Mustaqbal newspaper, witnesses said.
Friday marked the third day of fighting between the pro-Syrian organization and fighters loyal to the US-backed governing coalition, during which At least 10 people had been killed and 20 wounded, according to security sources.

The thud of exploding grenades and crackle of automatic gunfire echoed overnight in the worst internal strife since the 1975-90 civil war, as fighters from Hizbullah and Amal exchanged assault rifle fire and rocket-propelled grenades with pro-government gunmen, including fighters loyal to the Sunni Future movement, in several areas of the capital.

Both the Amal and Hezbollah are Shi’ite movements are a natural coalition fit but what should be disturbing is having a Lebanese Army officer openly do Hezbollah’s bidding with Hezbollah personnel by his side. This is an ill omen for all Lebanese.

Ha’aretz carries a much more in depth report here. Now that Hezbollah has torched Beirut it should be interesting watching how far and to what lengths General Michel Aoun will take to maintain his cover or beard for Hezbollah. The Beirut Daily Star carries some background.

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