There's been an explosion in Lebanon, as you know by now. A mysterious force killed Talal Arslan's right hand man, Saleh Aridi, presumably as punishment for the Druze leader's reconciliation with the other Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt. There were reports that the two had planned a joint electoral ticket next year, which would have finished off Syrian lapdog Wiam Wahab for good.
Wahab never hid his discontent, feeling that the Jumblatt-Arslan rapprochement came at his expense. Earlier this month saw verbal war between Arslan and Wahab, and reports said many of Wahab's followers deserted him to join the Arslan party. Wahab at some point said about Arslan, "If he claims that he's the boy's mother in the Druze sect, then I'm his father". Wahab accused Arslan of submitting his accreditation to Jumblatt.
The slain Aridi is said to be the architect of the reconciliation between Jumblatt and Arslan.
Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar told the Voice of Lebanon radio station on Thursday morning that the assassination aimed at “trapping new allies,” a reference to the reconciliation efforts between Jumblatt and Arslan, in which Aridi was a major player, since the May violence in the Chouf. He added that the killing was a blow to the efforts to calm Mount Lebanon.
For his part, Jumblatt told An-Nahar that some were “harmed” by his relation with Arslan, who made his way back to Lebanon after the incident.
As-Safir reported that the assassination came along with an organized campaign of rumors spread in Aley and the Chouf regarding mutual mobilization pitting the opposition, particularly Hezbollah, against the PSP.
Aridi, the paper continued, was Arlsan’s right-hand man and one of the most prominent figures of reconciliation between the latter and Jumblatt. “In so doing, he had benefited from his former position as a PSP member, and he is known for his close relations with several Syrian leaders,” As-Safir read. (Now Lebanon)
Note that this taking place amid disagreement in the ranks of the opposition, which the Jumblatt-Arslan alliance caused, as did the reaction by some Aounists to Assad's latest speech advising the army to move to the north to combat "extremism".
This "opposition" found itself unable to agree on an agenda for the planned national dialogue next week, let alone form joint lists in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
This latest assassination may be a product of this disagreement, as well as a message to Arslan and other tired Syrian satellites not to stray from the path during the national dialogue, or during the elections.