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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunni - Shia violence on the streets of Beirut

In an article in The Weekly Standard, Thomas Joscelyn points out that when it comes to terrorizing the West, the Shia and the Sunni work quite well together:
Some will dismiss out of hand any attempt to connect Mugniyah and bin Laden, convinced that the Sunnis of al Qaeda are incapable of collaborating with the Shiites of Hezbollah and Iran. As a factual matter, that is not true. There is ample evidence of contacts and collaboration throughout the historical record.
But on their home turf, the two sides keep having at each other again and again. For instance, this weekend in Beirut, as you can see in the video below:

The Lebanese Army, which is at least 50% Shia, most of that being loyal to Hezbullah, is not thrilled with having to deal with this sectarian violence:
The Lebanese Army Command on Sunday warned against seriousness of the persisting "quarrels" stressing that it would not be lax in dealing with disorders.

The statement noted that "some partisans, zealots and agitators … have been gathering and making chants of challenge and support that develop into wrangling and quarrels with means of harm that result in a number of casualties and inflicting damage to private property, which raises concern of citizens and threatens their security and stability."

It added that army units "intervene and disengage" the feuding faction in addition to "arresting rioters, conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints to reinforce security and prevent aggressions."

"The Army command draws the attention to seriousness of what is happening that reflects the absence of national responsibility … it also urges citizens to remain at home or at work and refrain from taking part in gatherings … to avoid arrest on charges of agitation," the statement added.
I don't expect either side to arrest its own, but given the opportunity to arrest the other side's 'demonstrators' would bring about a different result.


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