Due to the recent disruptions in Lebanon the U.S has issued a statement supporting Lebanese efforts to form a new coalition amid at rising tensions sparked by the killing of security chief Wissam al-Hassan. Gen Hassan the head of the intelligence branch of the Internal Security Forces, was killed in a car bomb blast on Friday. This attack sparked a continuation of attacks in Beruit. The U.S feels the instability in Syria is affecting the security in Lebanon more now than ever. These clashes erupted in Beriut and Tripoli after opposition figures blamed Syria for the attack on Gen Hassan. U.S state department spokeswoman Vistoria Nuland said, “And while we don’t want a vacuum of a legitimate political authority, we do support this process that is now under way to produce a new government that is responsive to the needs of the Lebanese people.” These acts of terrorism are a way of provoking reactions and creating tension, which has been successful.
Gen Hassan was a Sunni and outspoken critic of Syrian President al-Assad. This murder in turn has lead to deadly clashes between pro- and anti- Syrian parties. The Lebanese army has been deployed on the streets of Beirut and Tripoli to try and take back control of the violence. The funeral for Gen Hassan turned into a political rally against both Mr. Mikati and Syria. This disturbs me to think the death of someone could be used as exploitation for political parties. In times of grief people should not be thinking of their personal benefit from the death. The Monday after the funeral citizens of Lebanon set up camp outside Mr. Mikati’s office calling for resignation. Since these attacks the army has urged “all political leaders to be cautious when expressing their stances and opinions” the army typically has been seen as the mediator between the country’s diverse political and religious factions.
After reading about this event it was interesting hearing the reactions of people living in Beruit. What shocked me the most was how desensitized they have become to this violence. I can’t imagine dealing with such violence and attempting to remain so calm. It is sad that attacks such as this on political figures are a common occurrence. I’m curious to see what happens in the next year with the Syrian conflict escalating and elections coming up. The U.S has to try and maintain close relationships with Lebanon despite their alliance with Israel. I don’t know how much assistance the U.S can be for a situation that is so hard to control. Issues such as this will keep continuing because of the political power struggle amongst the government.