Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Syrian rebels participated in Tripoli's and Beirut's armed chaos.

Local Editor

Lebanese media sources confirmed Tuesday that Beirut's citizens, particularly Tariq al-Jdedeh, witnessed non-Lebanese fighters who participated in the armed attack against the Arab Party centers.

According to the citizens, the clashes included fighters from the Syrian rebels, who also participated in Tripoli's recent armed chaos.

A number of people in North
Lebanon, especially in Akkar, expressed discomfort on the existence of armed rebels under the cover of the so-called "Free Syrian Army."

The people expressed surprise that "the non-Lebanese militias move publicly with its weapons shown in the Future Movement cars, accompanied by figures close to the movement."

In parallel, the people said that "these same figures demanded the expulsion of the Lebanese Army from Akkar."

Moreover, citizens complained to some politicians of worrying signs for the existence of some non-Syrian Arab fighters, some of whom are from North Africa, in Akkar.

Media sources also reported that "fear spread among the Northern region that the Future figure calls for the Lebanese Army to withdraw from the region aims at replacing it with the existence of armed rebels."

"These rebels came from a number of Arab countries under the pretext of fighting the Syrian regime," citizens cautioned.

Source: al-Intiqad, Translated and Edited by moqawama.org

Mikati: Future’s Campaign Seeks Return to Power

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati stressed Monday that "the call to make the government resigns has become a must-have synonym used in all Future MPs' statements."

"This forms a reflection to embedded desires to retrieve their ruling position which they consider an undisputable right," Mikati's office said in a statement.
In response to the Future verbal campaign urging him to resign, the MP viewed "the Future MPs thought that they have a privileged right to remain in their ruling seats and that no one ought to take it from them."

He further argued that "anyone who dares to take over the ruling power is doomed to suffer the merciless smearing and libel of the Future bloc."
"No one buys the Future double-faced approach any longer," Mikati confirmed.

He also accused some of the Future MPs of encouraging their supporters to take to streets and engage in armed clashes, "the last of which was what happened overnight in Beirut."

Source: al-Intiqad, Translated and Edited by moqawama.org

Sit-in ends after Islamist at center of Lebanon clashes bailed

Residents of the town of al-Abdeh block the highway leading to the northern Lebanese area of Akkar with burning tires after the funeral of Sheikh Ahmad Abdel-Wahed in his hometown al-Bireh north of Beirut on 21 May 2012. (Photo:AFP – STR)
A leading Islamist whose detention 10 days ago set off a series of violent protests in Lebanon was freed on bail on Tuesday, bringing an end to a sit-in in the country's second city Tripoli.

The official said military judge Nabil Wehbe ordered Shadi Mawlawi released on bail of 500,000 Lebanese pounds (US$333).

Upon his return to Tripoli he said he was "wrongfully arrested for aiding Syrian refugees in Lebanon.”
“I was forced to make confessions under pressure and torture,” he added.

The state news agency reported that Mawlawi's release had been followed by the ending of a sit-in protest by Islamists in Tripoli's Al-Nour Square.

Protesters had been in the square demanding Mawlawi's release since he was detained on May 12 on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization.

The Islamist's arrest had also sparked deadly sectarian clashes in the city and there were further clashes on Monday night, with an artillery shell hitting the Bab al-Tabbaneh area while three Inerga rocket-propelled bombs exploded in Jabal Mohsen, Lebanese state media said.

The areas had been the center of a series of clashes between pro and anti-Syrian regime groups last week, until the Lebanese army intervened.

There were no immediate reports of casualties and the capital Beirut, which had seen clashes on Sunday night for the first time, was quiet.

State media said 35 people had been arrested on Tuesday morning, though not all of those were held in connection with the clashes.

Political crisis

The deteriorating security situation was exacerbated by the killing of a leading anti-Syrian regime sheikh by the Lebanese army on Sunday.

Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Wahed was shot when his car failed to stop at a military checkpoint.

His funeral on Monday was followed by large anti-Syrian regime street protests in the Akkar district of Lebanon.

The death of Abdel Wahed has threatened to undermine Lebanon's government and Prime Minister Najib Mikati defended his handling of the situation on Tuesday.

Mikati reacted angrily to opposition Future Movement MPs who had demanded his resignation, saying they were stirring up trouble while he was seeking to calm the situation.

Fighters affiliated to the Future Movement were involved in the Beirut clashes, and Mikati said the MPs were being two-faced.

"The request to have the cabinet resign has become a must-have synonym used in all Future MPs' statements," he said in a statement carried on state media.

"At the apparent level they address the people with positive messages under the slogan of national responsibility...whereas secretly they curse others, not to mention spoil all the positive efforts aiming at resolving issues," the statement said, adding that "no one buys this double-faced approach any longer."
(Al-Akhbar, AFP)

Beirut Battle: The Day After Future’s "Victory"

Sabra Watches the War Next Door

Rajana Hamyeh

In the Sabra area of Beirut, where many Palestinian refugees and migrant workers reside, things would have been normal if not for a piece of news that appeared on one TV station suggesting that Palestinian fighters were involved in the clashes taking place in Tariq al-Jdideh.

Members of Sabra’s security committee deployed around 100 guards to control the passages in and out of the neighborhood, particularly to prevent weapons being taken out.

While they were deploying, news reached the homes of the residents of Sabra in various distorted forms. First, “armed Palestinian fighters” were exiting Sabra, and then “armed Palestinian fighters” were in front of Shaker Berjawi’s offices.

The word “armed fighter” was enough to instill terror in the hearts of many of Sabra’s dwellers who had been “tormented” by such events in the past, according to one resident.

He was guarding the entrance of the al-Dana neighborhood. “Nobody with a military position left Sabra. They were all civilians and they were few,” he explains.

The “tight” guard kept on the entrances did not stop the residents from worrying about the approaching battle. Their fear reminded them of the terrible events of the Sabra and Shatila massacre with every bullet they heard.

“It is justified,” says Abu Othman, one of Sabra’s residents. That’s what makes Sabra “different” from other Palestinian refugee camps such as Burj al-Barajneh. Any “war” in the surrounding neighborhoods will spill over “directly or indirectly into Sabra.”

He says this is due to three factors: Sabra “is in a sensitive location, its doors are open, and it is mixed politically.”

As for direct consequences of the fighting on the camp, students adhered to the general strike and stayed home, while employees who had to go to work were forced to cross several “demarcation lines.”

The indirect impact is fear and the armed presence on the borders of Sabra, in addition to the indirect political consequences which one resident attributed to the “TV news that tries to accuse Palestinians of everything.”

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

North Lebanon: Becoming the multipurpose 'Haven-Zone' for the Syrian conflict

...most importantly & in the absence of the Turkish & Jordanian 'zones', N Lebanon becomes the ideal transit zone for weapons, fighters & foreign assistance to the insurgency.
"... Meanwhile, protestors in parts of the north are closing off roads with burning tires, with the army clearing them only to see them closed again. At the funeral in Akkar, the spokesman for a large group of armed men told a Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation reporter that the "army means nothing to us," and that authorities have "from now until Wahid is buried" to arrest those responsible. He promised that the weapons on display were nothing, warning "you have not seen our best weapons yet."..."

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
 The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

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