Nasr said that the light and medium caliber ammunitions received from Turkey are important to enhance the capabilities of the Lebanese army, especially in terms of security operations, and constitute an essential part of the army’s efforts to maintain stability, combat terrorism and counter external attacks.
Lebanon is currently trying to form a new government capable of implementing structural reforms and negotiating border demarcation with Israel so as to start oil and gas exploration in Lebanon’s territorial waters
The protocol was signed by German Ambassador to Lebanon Andreas Kindl and Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun.
Nevertheless, Del Col criticized the Israeli aggressions as being “in contravention of our objectives.” He warned that these actions could “trigger incidents endangering the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel.”
France’s President Emmanuel Macron said he would press for reforms aimed at dragging Lebanon out of a financial abyss as he began a visit to Beirut hours after Lebanese leaders named diplomat Mustapha Adib new PM on Monday under French pressure.
The military struck Hezbollah targets in Lebanon after troops were fired upon from across the border, the military said early Wednesday, after announcing a „security incident“ at the border late Tuesday evening.
No soldiers were hurt, the army said.
Champagne is also scheduled to visit Switzerland, Italy and Britain during his overseas trip for meetings with UN officials and several of his European counterparts.
The state of emergency allows the army to curb free speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press, as well as to enter homes and arrest anyone deemed a security threat.
Macron himself firmly rejected the idea of reviving the French mandate.
“You can’t ask me to substitute for your leaders. It’s not possible,” he said. “There is no French solution.”
But he made a point of noting that he plans to return to Lebanon to verify that promised reforms are being undertaken on Sept. 1, the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Greater Lebanon – and the beginning of French rule.
Prime Minister Diab calls for early parliamentary elections as over 200 protesters wounded, one police officer killed in clashes
Beirut totally crashed amid 1. Economic inflation and 2. Covid19 outbreak. God bless the people and keep them safe. I am shocked #Lebanon #لبنان_ينهار
Hundreds said injured, hospitals overwhelmed amid massive damage to Lebanon’s capital; explosion said caused by highly explosive materials seized from ship, stored at port
The moment of the huge Beirut explosion was caught on camera by social media users.
Explosions rocked Beirut Tuesday afternoon, thought to be at Beirut port.
In the coming months no less than five senior members of the security establishment face replacement.
They are: Yossi Cohen, head of Mossad (Israel’s foreign espionage agency); Nadav Argaman, head of the Shin Bet, (domestic security service); Major-General Tamir Hayman, chief of Military Intelligence, and its Research Directorate director, Brigadier-General Dror Shalom; and finally, Meir Ben Shabat, head of the National Security Council.
The domestic intelligence agency for the city-state of Berlin disclosed Thursday in a new report on antisemitism that Iran’s clerical regime is a leading sponsor of Jew-hatred.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on Europe to prevent Israel from attacking Syria and Lebanon, and support efforts to end US-imposed sanctions on Iran amid the global pandemic.
The new measures reportedly have the backing of the United States, according to The Times of Israel.
Israel’s envoy, Danny Danon, made the demands during a video press briefing, adding that the UN Security Council must be immediately informed if Lebanon moves to block any of the new measures.
The Lebanese-American man, Amer Fakhoury, had been jailed in Lebanon since September and charged with murder and torture of prisoners at the same SLA-run prison — charges he denied. A Lebanese judge ordered him released last week, saying more than 10 years had passed since the alleged crimes.
U.S. officials confirmed Fakhoury was aboard a U.S. Marine V-22 Osprey seen taking off from the U.S. Embassy compound northeast of Beirut on Thursday.
There was no immediate Israeli comment. Israel has carried out dozens of airstrikes on Syria over the past years but it rarely comments on what it targets.
Israel is widely believed to have been behind airstrikes mainly targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria that have joined the country’s war fighting alongside the government.
“Nasrallah has not stopped attacking Netanyahu or threatening Israel. As his distress grows, his eloquence increases,” Katz wrote in two separate Hebrew and Arabic-language tweets.
“In the meantime, [Nasrallah] is forced to go down another floor into the bunker in the face of warnings from his Iranian patrons about the possibility of his liquidation. If he challenges Israel – that won’t help him either,” Katz warned.
The immediate theater of friction with Iran isn’t its nuclear program but Soleimani’s legacy of military entrenchment in Syria.
On this score, despite the apparent lull in incidents in recent weeks, Military Intelligence thinks an opportunity has been created to accelerate the pace of attacks against Iran and its allies. And it has urged Israel to seize this opportunity despite its assessment that Iran and Hezbollah will respond militarily if any of their people are killed.
But the United States also sent secret messages through Swiss intermediaries urging Iran not to respond so forcefully that Mr. Trump would feel compelled to go even further. After it did respond, firing 16 missiles at bases housing American troops without hurting anyone as a relatively harmless show of force, a message came back through the Swiss saying that would be the end of its reprisal for now. The message, forwarded to Washington within five minutes after it was received, persuaded the president to stand down.
According to Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic rapproachment that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Abdul-Mahdi said that Trump personally thanked him for the efforts, even as he was planning the hit on Soleimani – thus creating the impression that the Iranian general was safe to travel to Baghdad.
MSNBC’s Richard Engel discusses a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah following the death of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleiamni. Nasrallah said the „appropriate response“ would be to not attack American civilians in the region, but instead called for the ousting of the U.S. military.
Sunday’s strikes in Iraq were close to the Al-Qaim district, close to the border with Syria, according to Reuters news agency.
Iraqi security and militia sources told Reuters news agency at least 18 militia fighters were killed and more than 50 wounded following three strikes in the country.
The Pentagon carried out airstrikes against a militia responsible for a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base near Kirkuk that left an American defense contractor dead. In a statement, the Pentagon said it had carried out strikes on the Iranian-backed Kata’ib Hizbollah group.
President Michel Aoun on Tuesday urged the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to investigate the reasons behind the Greek oil exploration vessel’s violation of, operating for the Israeli army, Lebanon’s territorial waters for seven hours, a statement by the President’s office reported.
„Lebanon rejects any violation of its legitimate rights within its territorial waters; Israeli naval violations of Lebanese sovereignty are no less dangerous than land and air violations which Israel continues to carry out,“ Aoun said during his meeting at Baabda Palace with UNIFIL Chief Stefano Del Col.
Crowds blocked roads leading to government buildings to stop lawmakers from laws that critics fear could provide amnesty for past corruption.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced on Tuesday that he was headed to the Baabda Palace to submit his cabinet’s resignation to President Michel Aoun „after having reached a dead-end, and sensing the need for a positive shock.”
The protesters are asserting the full meaning of their words. They don’t just want a single ruler gone, or a single party, or even the fall of the government. They want to rid themselves entirely of the whole regime: every single member of the ruling elite, regardless of their allegiance. “All of them means all of them,” as the protesters have been shouting nationwide.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in Abu Dhabi Sunday on the first leg of an Arab and foreign tour aiming to drum up Arab and international financial …
BEIRUT — Syria and Iraq announced the reopening of a border crossing between the two countries Monday, a step toward the normalization of Iraq’s relationship with its western neighbor and a boost to Iran, which will now have an open corridor into Syria.
The crossing, which Iraqi officials declared open for travellers and trade, is crucial for Iran’s bid to cement its growing sway over a corridor of territory from Tehran to Beirut.
The opening of the crossing signified „the victory of the Iraqi and Syrian people over all terrorist groups, especially Daesh,“ said Syrian Interior Minister Mohammad Khaled al-Rahmoun, using a term for Islamic State.
From drone strikes to psyops, Israel’s widening campaign to weaken Iranian ally escalates tensions
Hadash MK Ofer Cassif placed responsibility for the escalation of violence between Israel and Hezbollah on Sunday, September 1, at the doorstep of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him “the serial criminal from Balfour Street.”
Cassif said “Netanyahu and his servants are responsible” for the recent clash, adding they mean to “occupy the seat of power with blood and to ensure the criminal [Netanyahu] will escape prison.”
Joint List leader, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) agreed saying, “We will not be silent when the cannons roar” and warned that a further war “will not bring security, only death, destruction and victims on both sides.”
What’s particularly worrying about this story is that the ambulance shouldn’t have been there. As part of Northern Command’s preparations, for the past several days soldiers have been using back roads that aren’t vulnerable to flat-trajectory weapons from Lebanon.
Yet for reasons still unknown, the ambulance crew, under the command of a doctor, didn’t take the safer route. Perhaps the crew made a navigational error, or perhaps it wasn’t familiar with the orders in detail. But whatever the reason, the doctor and his crew were driving on a road that was vulnerable to Hezbollah fire.
Within Israel, Netanyahu’s Arabic-speaking mouthpieces amplify the ridicule, sarcastically „calling out“ Arab leaders on social media for their „treason“ and weakness, whenever they engage in normalization.
Added to that, the role of the Mossad in setting up the back channels that lead to Israeli politicians meeting Gulf leaders – despite being part of the secret service’s brief in states where no diplomatic relations exist – gives the impression that this form of normalization is part of a black ops scheme whose real purpose is still covert.
The leader of the Shi’ite group, Hassan Nasrallah, relayed a message through other countries asking to end the hostilities, the senior security source said. „We received pleas from Lebanon through third-party countries, pleading with us not to respond“ to the fire, said the source. Other political and military sources named the mediators as France, Egypt and the United States.
Shortly after 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) Sunday, the IDF says a Hezbollah squad fired anti-tank missiles at an Israeli battalion headquarters near the village of Avivim, hitting a building and a military ambulance but causing no casualties.
The IDF says it responded with around 100 artillery shells and „very limited“ helicopter fire, targeting the area from where the missiles were fired, as well as other military sites.
Hezbollah Sunday announced the destruction of an Israeli military vehicle resulting in deaths and injuries, which led Prime Minister Saad Hariri to call U.S. and French officials for help in containing the situation.
Israel’s military went on a propaganda offensive against Iran and Hezbollah using social media to drastically increase tensions with neighboring Lebanon hours after Benjamin Netanyahu warned the nation’s enemies, in Arabic, to „watch it.“
The Israeli prime minister was on the campaign trail ahead of elections scheduled for September 17. But the barrage of agitprop by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) represented a dramatic shift towards a warning of outright war.
„This aggressive pretentiousness has no purpose other than political gain, and I do not retract my words,“ he added, saying that „it is not coincidental that he made his statement by the side of Moshe Feiglin. I accuse him of possibly drawing us into war for political gain.“
„It’s unquestionably pure politics and Prime Minister Netanyahu does it unstoppably.
Diplomats say this led the US, which currently has no troops there, to propose that maximum number for the mission be reduced from 15,000 to 9,000.
The US mission to the UN would not confirm that number after the council voted 15-0 to extend the peacekeeping role, with no reduction to the maximum.
Lebanese Army soldiers Wednesday evening opened fire multiple times on Israeli drones that crossed into southern Lebanon just days after an Israeli drone attack on Beirut’s southern suburbs raised the specter of war.
On August 27, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of the Lebanese Republic Saad Hariri at the initiative of the Lebanese side.
Moscow, in return, “reaffirmed its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and stability of Lebanon,” in a statement carried by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
In Israel there is no opposition; this disturbing realization is becoming clearer.
Lebanese politicians across the spectrum condemned the attacks and accused Israel of pushing the country toward conflict.
“What happened is tantamount to a declaration of war that allows us to resort to our right to defend our sovereignty, independence and territorial security,” President Michel Aoun of Lebanon told a top United Nations official on Monday, according to a statement released by the president’s office.
Multiple Israeli drones were reported to have flown over Lebanese airspace Monday, hours after Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned that his party would bring down Israeli unmanned aircraft entering Lebanese skies.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun discussed on Monday the „Israeli assault on the southern suburbs of Beirut“ with the country’s United Nations Special Coordinator, Aoun’s office said. The president said that the drone strikes amount to a „declaration of war.“
In a rare confirmation, Israel said it struck in Syria on Saturday to thwart a drone attack by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards‘ elite Quds Force. The Israeli army said the foiled attack entailed launching several drones at targets in northern Israel.
In anticipation of possible retaliatory rocket fire, the Israel Defense Forces deployed air defenses in northern Israel. Authorities, however, have not issued any special safety instructions for local residents.
BEIRUT: An Israeli drone went down over Beirut’s southern suburbs, and another exploded in the air overnight Sunday near Hezbollah’s media offices, a source from the party told The Daily Star.
Throughout the morning, following the incident, Israeli reconnaissance hovered over south Lebanon and the capital’s southern suburbs – a Hezbollah stronghold.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah is expected to comment on the issue in a speech scheduled for late afternoon.
(21.10.2012) The following text written in 2006 at the height of the Lebanon 2006 war examines the geopolitics of energy and oil and and gas pipeline corridors through Lebanon and Syria
Another important strategic objective for Israel is the control over offshore gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, including those Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. These coastal gas reserves extend from Israel’s border with Egyptian to the Turkish border.
In February 2018, Lebanon signed its first contract for offshore drilling for oil and gas with a consortium comprising energy giants Total, ENI and Novatek.
Two blocks in the eastern Mediterranean are part of the deal, but Israel claims that part of Block 9 belongs to the Jewish state.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri deliver statements to the press at the U.S. Department of State on August 15, 2019.
During a trilateral meeting between the national security advisers of Israel, the US and Russia in late June, Jerusalem and Washington demanded that Moscow ensure the withdrawal of Iran’s forces from Lebanon and Iraq, as well as from Syria, Channel 13 news reported Tuesday.
The demand was seen as a condition for US and Israeli support for a long-term arrangement to secure peace in war-ravaged Syria.
The Lebanese government, he said, “is not objecting to the military entrenchment of Hezbollah on its territory. It will also bear the responsibility for any attack.”
Netanyahu warned that Israel will deploy “great force” if it must embark on another war in order to ensure victory. “Even if we have to stand alone against Iran and its entities we will,” he said.
While Trump threatens Iran and Venezuela with new wars, 400 Congress members, including leaders from both parties, want to intensify the eight-year war on Syria, to weaken Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah.
A send-off ceremony was held on Sunday. Members of the group are mainly from an engineering troop but also include special police, medical staff and translators.
#Syria #Israel #IDF #IAF #Russia #Iran #IRGC
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor affiliated with the Syrian opposition, reported that three explosions were heard in southern and southwestern Damascus. According to the report, the areas that were targeted have an Iranian military and Hezbollah presence.
„You have killed hundreds of young people in the streets for trying to claim the rights you stole. This without even counting the dead for lack of medicines and security.”
“To the generals,” he added, “how is it that having the power to allow the entry of international humanitarian aid to our country to save lives, you would decide not to? Would you be so inhuman? So hypnotized?”
In the last few years hopes for the commercialization of hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean have dimmed as diplomatic and military tensions rise in the region along side the unending Syrian war
(20.12.2018) The Russian delegation is expected to tour the Israel-Lebanon border on Thursday, and will view the four cross-border terror tunnels exposed by the IDF since it had launched Operation Northern Shield. In addition, the delegation will meet with members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees for a classified discussion on the security situation on the northern border and a meeting with the National Security Council will also be held. The delegation heads will also meet with Soviet-born Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
Last month Putin said he had no intention of meeting with Netanyahu in the near future.
The Israeli premier has been trying to obtain a meeting with Putin for a while, especially in light of deterioration in the bilateral ties between the two countries since Moscow accused Israel two months ago of downing a Russian spyplane.
(11.11.2018) With regard to the Arab Spring – just a year before the Union was being renamed and rebranded and against all the odds – the Union was able to create and maintain a structure that focused on trying to achieve results for those regions that were facing a challenging period. Despite the instability which member states of the Union faced during this period, it managed to create the infrastructure for a better future.
Acting Armenia’s Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan has arrived in Lebanon on a working visit, spokesperson for the ministry Artsrun Hovhannisyan wrote on Facebook.
(9. März 2007) After a final offensive in which Israel lost 33 soldiers, the government agreed a ceasefire without having achieved its objectives. In the fighting 1,200 Lebanese and 158 Israelis were killed. Of the dead almost 1,000 Lebanese and 41 Israelis were civilians.
Mr Olmert told the committee that he had ordered the final offensive to put pressure on the UN security council to improve the wording of the ceasefire in Israel’s favour.
(8. März 2007) Many Israelis view Olmert’s decision to go to war as a knee-jerk reaction by a leader with little security experience, unlike his predecessor, former general Ariel Sharon.
In testimony apparently aimed at dismissing any notion he acted recklessly, Olmert told the commission he asked army commanders in March 2006 if a contingency plan for military action existed in the event soldiers were abducted along the Lebanon frontier, Haaretz said.
(3.August 2006) The ground battle inLebanon is widening, but on the eve of a new United Nations Security Council decision on the Israeli- Hizbullah conflict, its days may be numbered. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is already dealing with “the day after,” the diplomatic arrangement that will install an international force north of the Blue Line to replace the Israeli army.
Russia played the role of postman for the exchange of the US-Assad messages. President Assad, however, informed the Americans that Iran is not interested in remaining in Syria once all terrorist Takfirees are killed and when its function is no longer required.
The bottom line is that Assad and his allies believe that the US-French-UK withdrawal from Syria would actually be an achievement. Moreover, both Iran and Hezbollah consider their withdrawal both a fact and a necessity, once Assad is no longer in need of their contribution.
On Thursday, Bassil said UNHCR has discouraged refugees in the Lebanese border town of Arsal from returning home by asking them questions about potential situation they may experience in Syria, including the likelihood of military conscription, security issues and poor accommodation.
„We sent a mission that verified that the UNHCR is intimidating the displaced who wish to return voluntarily,“ the Lebanese foreign minister tweeted.
However, Nadim Mounla, an aide to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, said Bassil’s decision was „unilateral“ and „not representative of the Lebanese government’s position.“
Putin has given Israel carte blanche to take military action against Iranian targets in Syria, and against Iran’s proxy Hezbollah, in Syria and Lebanon.
Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) recently made the “biggest” drug bust in the country’s history, confiscating 15 tons of hashish.(…)
Walid Jumblatt—a prominent politician who leads Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party—had repeatedly called for the country to legalize the drug in 2014. Regardless of the risks of growing cannabis, many farmers and workers in the country are dependants on the crop’s production.(…)
Some economists have even suggested growing cannabis could boost Lebanon’s economy, while also providing jobs to the 1.5 million Syrian refugees residing in the country.
There was no comment from the Russian military about the incident. Russia has faced calls from Israel to rein in Iran in Syria, where Israel has mounted numerous attacks against Hezbollah and other targets it has described as Iran-backed.
„Perhaps it was to assure the Israelis,“ said the commander, adding that the move could not be justified as part of the fight against the Nusra Front or Islamic State because Hezbollah and the Syrian army had defeated them at the Lebanese-Syrian border.
Lebanon’s recently re-appointed Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri of the Amal Movement, a close political ally of Hezbollah, has recently given an interview with Sputnik where he openly contradicted the desires expressed by Russian President Putin who has called for a pull out of all foreign troops from Syria so that the military phase of the conflict can transition to a negotiated political settlement.
„The names were registered and finalized around two months ago,“ Hujeiri said adding that they are still waiting for a final answer over the matter. He noted that those who registered were looking to return to Western Qalamoun areas.
Lebanon’s Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said in a televised statement that the exploration project for the country’s first oil and gas reserves began on Tuesday after Lebanese officials approved a plan submitted by a consortium of France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Novatek.
On the heels of a meeting between Putin and the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Russian resort of Sochi on Thursday, Lavrentiev added: „This statement involves all foreign troops in Syria including the Turkish, American, Iranian and Hezbollah.“
Lavrentiev stressed that Putin’s statement on this issue represents a “political message”, but added „not to view it as the beginning of a withdrawal process of foreign troops from Syria.”
Foreign troops currently in Syria include Russian, Iranian, Turkish and American forces, as well as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and other pro-Assad militias. It is unclear to which of these forces Putin was referring.
It is not the first time that Kisweh has been targeted. In December, Israel reportedly bombed military positions in the area south of Damascus, including a weapons depot.
Since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011, Israel has repeatedly targeted positions of the Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group backing it inside the country.
The Syrian Arab News Agency has released dramatic security camera footage showing the moment air defenses brought down an Israeli missile in the al-Kisweh area about 12 km southwest of the capital.
„Hezbollah = Lebanon,“ Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a rightist in the Israel’s conservative coalition government, said on Twitter on Monday.
„The State of Israel will not differentiate between the sovereign State of Lebanon and Hezbollah, and will view Lebanon as responsible for any action from within its territory.“
In general, out of the 27 Shiite seats in the Lebanese parliament, Hezbollah and Amal secured at least 26 seats according to initial results.
The mandate of the parliament was extended for three times and the last parliamentary elections took place in 2009.
(18.4.2018) Last week, the United States launched an act of war against a sovereign government because failing to do so would have cast doubt on the credibility of the statements that Donald Trump makes while livetweeting Fox & Friends.
That may sound like hyperbolic snark, or the premise of an Andy Borowitz column, but it is a plain description of the rationale behind last Friday’s missile strikes in Syria, according to multiple military and administration officials.
The Syrian air defenses destroyed five guided missiles. Three missiles reached the western part of the airfield. No Russian advisers are among the casualties