Friday, May 9, 2008

Hezbollah, Lebanon and Israel

Lebanese soldiers take position as pro-government loyalists burn tyres and set up barricades on the main highway leading to southern Lebanon in the Jiyeh area south of Beirut, May 8, 2008 (Reuters)

It's gotten ugly in Lebanon:

Hezbollah impose control on Beirut
By Tom Perry

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hezbollah took control of the Muslim part of Beirut on Friday, tightening its grip on the city in a major blow to the U.S.-backed government.

Security sources said at least 11 people had been killed and 30 wounded in three days of battles between pro-government gunmen and fighters loyal to Hezbollah, a Shi'ite political movement with a powerful guerrilla army...

...Backed by the Shi'ite Amal group, Hezbollah fighters have been handing control of the offices to the army -- which is trying to play a neutral role in the crisis. A security source said Hezbollah and its allies were in control all of the mainly Muslim half of Beirut after pro-government gunmen laid down their weapons in their last bastion...

Rough times for the Lebanese. Quite a power struggle going on there. With Syria talking peace with Israel and with the Western-backed Siniora government being more aggressive recently Hezbollah has got to be nervous.

And you know they are worried about an Israeli attack while they are distracted with this offensive in Beirut. Nasrallah will be walking a fine line in the coming weeks.

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