Six people are dead and over thirty have been injured from heavy gunfire that broke out in the streets alongside a mass protest in Beirut, Lebanon. The protestors led by armed Hezbollah gunmen were calling for the removal of a popular Judge: Tarek Bitar who was tasked with overseeing the huge dockyard explosion that rocked the city in August of 2020 killing over 200 people and leveling large waterfront areas of the nation’s capital. Bitar had just released an arrest warrant for Hezbollah allied Amal party lawmaker Ali Hassan Khalil.
Hezbollah Enforcers Under Heavy Gunfire From Above
According to the Jerusalem Post, the protests were organized by the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorists and its main Shia ally, Amal. The sniper fire that erupted originated from a resistance movement acting against their efforts to stop the investigation of the 2020 blast. In a joint statement, Hezbollah and Amal accused the right-wing Christian party, “The Lebanese Forces”, of being behind the sniper attacks.
The Hezbollah militants and Christian resistance snipers battled in the streets in a four-hour-long running firefight as civilians milled about and looked on while Hezbollah gunmen were dropped by precision sniper fire and attempted to reply with RPG’s, rockets, and semi-automatic fire to little effect.
JPost’s, SETH J. FRANTZMAN wrote,
“Hezbollah’s goal was to cement its control of Lebanon, where it already has secured allies in the presidency, and to create a parallel communications network and infiltrate other state structures. Hezbollah’s goal – 16 years after it murdered former prime minister Rafik Hariri in its first bid for control of the country – was to flex its muscles and get judge Tarek Bitar removed.”
How Does Hezbollah Control Lebanon?
According to Chatham House, “In the 2009 and 2018 elections, Hezbollah won only 13 seats in the 128 seat parliament but, with its March 8 allies, it effectively controlled 44 seats in 2009, and in 2018, a majority of 72 seats.”
“After mass protests in 2019, Lebanon formed a supposedly technocratic cabinet of 20 ministers, but in reality the administration was under Hezbollah control as its political opponents largely refused to join the cabinet.”
In 2021 that tactic of seizing control through mass protests seems to be coming back to haunt the Islamist terror group attempting to rebrand themselves as a ‘legitimate’ government as resistance groups like The Lebanon Forces merely use these mass protests to pick of Hezbollah fighters as easy targets amongst civilians who seem to realize they aren’t the targets.
Unfortunately, outlets like CNN are doing precisely what Iran and Hezbollah want by framing them as legitimate government officials and the Christian resistance fighters as criminals quoting Hezbollah’s talking points,
“It’s clear that those who fired at the protesters were organized armed groups who have been planning this attack since yesterday,” one high-ranking Hezbollah official told CNN. “We will not fire back. They want to drag us into civil strife and we do not want to sow civil strife.”
CNN didn’t point out that Hezbollah’s insistence that they “will not fire back” is demonstrably proven false by video from the capital which clearly showed Hezbollah gunmen firing indiscriminately into residential buildings where they believed snipers to be positioned.
A civilian doesn’t fear for his life as snipers take out Hezbollah forces take cover from sniper fire. pic.twitter.com/FDvPvOz1Vs
— Ian Miles Cheong @ stillgray.substack.com (@stillgray) October 14, 2021