The Hizbullah supporter that was shot dead on Sunday may or may not have been shot by the Sunni residents of Qasqas. The area is infested with pro-Assad Ahbash Islamists, and I would not put it past one of them or some Syrian intelligence operative to have pulled the trigger—similar to what happened during the airport road riots when a young man was shot in the back by a mysterious bullet to turn people against the pro-government Internal Security Forces (ISF). In fact, and following the clashes, security forces arrested three Syrians who were throwing rocks from the roof of a building overlooking the area.
Some reports suggest that groups of Hizbullah and Amal members stormed the Sunni area (Naharnet), intensifying the clashes with the Sunni residents that erupted following the passing and subsequent stoning of a Hizbullah convoy on its way to the southern suburb. Many stores and businesses were torched during the ensuing riots.
Regardless of what really transpired, the above should be grounds enough to declare a state of emergency in the country. The following provides more reasons. I urge you to take it with a grain of salt since I have no way of corroborating it, though I will interject to try to relate some of the information to recent events. For the sake of Lebanon, this is something we need to all take seriously because our country is at stake.
According to al-Seyassah, weapons are pouring into the country through the Syrian border, accompanied by terrorist groups run by Syrian intelligence. Fouad Siniora has been advised by world capitals to shut down the border with Syria to prevent a "catastrophe".
Thousands of Syrian reservists and hundreds of intelligence agents who were naturalized during the Syrian era have entered the country and re-organized themselves. According to a diplomat from the Gulf quoted by the Kuwaiti paper, weapons are being "distributed like candy" and Syrian intelligence has returned to posts it had evacuated in 2005.
Tens of trucks reportedly delivered explosives to Hizbullah warehouses in the southern suburb. Parking lots in Beirut, Tripoli, Sidon and Baalbeck have been transformed into workshops to booby-trap cars, in an apparent prepapring for a full scale civil war in the country. (If this is true, the Saudi King's warning that he will not let Lebanon turn into another Iraq suddenly makes sense). Al-Seyassah claimed that Hizbullah moved some of their rockets to Beirut for possible use against security forces protecting the Grand Serail.
In another report, al-Seyassah detailed the sending of thousands of Syrians and Palestinians into Lebanon by the Assad regime (which, incidentally, has openly declared its support for the efforts to topple the government) to incite the demonstrators and enflame conflicts. The Assad regime also instructed its Lebanese mouthpieces to intensify verbal attacks against the Sunni mufti, Maronite patriarch, and the government. It also ordered Hizbullah to keep its blockade of the Serail.
You will recall the Syrian who was arrested yesterday, the three today, and Hizbullah's refusal to end their blockade. And as if on cue, Suleiman Franjieh, Wiam Wahab and Talal Arslan launched despicable attacks on the government and March 14 today. The strange report about Fatah Islam I blogged about a few days ago about also makes great sense in light of the above information. You will also recall how Syrian agents were planning to accompany Hizbullah during its planned storming of the Serail on Friday, which was discovered and foiled after the intervention of the Saudi King.
According to al-Seyassah in its December 3 issue, Hizbullah will next move to occupy the Beirut airport by erecting tents on the runways to further isolate the government and stop the visits by European and Arab ministers showing their support. (Notice how Aoun yesterday lashed out at Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the US, France and all countries for supporting Siniora. Also, how can we forget the time Aoun told Siniora that there he will not have time to pack his bags when his day to resign comes, or when the general threatened to burn down the Serail).
Furthermore, the report claims that Nasrallah has issued an order to Shia officers in the internal security forces to resign their posts and join "the opposition". The Lebanese internal security forces are currently the only forces entrusted with and trusted to protect the Lebanese cabinet. The Lebanese army's loyalties are at best unknown, though it is unclear whether they would support a Hizbullah coup of the scale described by al-Seyassah. Incidentally, in an address at martyrs' square today, Franjieh praised the Lebanese army, claiming it was "on our side".
Like most of you, I hope that the above is not true. But the dots are connecting easily. It does appear, however, that what is being cooked for Lebanon and its government is far more serious and dangerous than many would like to believe.