Monday, October 04, 2010

Lots of weapons being bought in Lebanon ahead of STL indictments

From Ya Libnan:
Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Sunday that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon ( STL) indictment is beginning to impact the arms sales in Lebanon and specially such arms as M4, M16 and K47 .

Asharq al-Awsat quoted arms dealers as saying that party members on Friday evening ave hasked for huge quantities of these weapons regardless of the price.

It quoted one dealer as saying that the activity in the arms market picked up last week after a two-year decline with different parties, and even individuals, requesting to buy weapons.

He said prices rose after May 7, 2008, the date on which street clashes broke out in and around Beirut between Hezbollah and March 14 forces with one Kalashnikov selling for $1,500.

“Today, prices are going up where the M4 with a launcher was being sold for $12,000 and M16 $1,500 and the Kalashnikov between $750 and $1,000,” the dealer said.

He said the weapons were being smuggled from Syria or via Israel, particularly M4.

The dealer confirmed reports saying that party members were getting training.

“March 8 forces are being trained in the Bekaa,” he said “while the others are being trained in the Cedars on the use of the Russian BKC and the American MAG and small mortars.”

Prime Minister Saad Hariri has vowed not to be intimidated by threats of fighting on the streets and insists the court will be allowed to issue indictments – many assume against some Hezbollah members – no matter the consequences.
And that is not the only destabilizing factor in Lebanon over the past day:
On Sunday the Syrian judiciary issued 33 arrest warrants for judges, officers, politicians and journalists of Lebanese, Arab and other nationalities in the case brought by former Lebanese General Security chief Jamil as-Sayyed, according to a statement from Sayyed’s office.
Syria, ignoring Lebanon's sovereignty, is issuing arrest warrants for Lebanese and threatening Lebanon if they don't hand these people over.

As Naharnet notes,
Lebanon is facing a full-blown crisis as tensions over a U.N.-probe into the murder of its ex-premier mount with Syria, and a standoff between rival parties escalates, analysts warned on Monday.

The crisis which has been brewing for weeks is linked to unconfirmed reports the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, or STL, is set to accuse members of Hizbullah of being implicated in the 2005 assassination of ex-premier Rafik Hariri.

Syria added fuel to the fire on Sunday by issuing arrest warrants against 33 people, among them several Lebanese officials, over alleged false testimony given in the case.

"The situation has taken a dangerous turn and the arrest warrants can be likened to a pressure cooker that has had its lid blown off," said Hilal Khashan, political science professor at the American University of Beirut.
We are talking a very real possibility for a civil war, or a Hezbollah coup, or something else very big in the next few weeks out of Lebanon - and yet the Western media has all but ignored this real crisis and instead been concentrating on irrelevancies from a set of fake negotiations between two sets of people for whom the status quo is generally better than any likely alternative.