Posted by: Lister | May 9, 2008

War of the Phones

Hezbollah says that its communication network is an important weapon for the defence of Lebanon, and accuses the government of trying to weaken Hezbollah for the benefit of America and Israel.

Al-Jazeera quotes Jamil Mroue:

“Will Hezbollah back down for free? The answer is no. Will the government back down for free? The answer is no. But Nasrallah has left an opening that leaves the possibility of communication.

“He did not discount the government all out. He clearly indicated that the government [during the crackdown] was under the influence of Walid Jumblatt. In other words he exonerated Fouad Siniora, the prime minister, although in a humiliating way.

Christian Science Monitor says Hezbollah has taken control of West Beirut:

The west Beirut residences of Saad Hariri, who heads the Future Movement, and Walid Jumblatt, leader of Lebanon’s Druze community, were besieged by heavily armed fighters from Hezbollah and its Shiite ally the Amal Movement. By noon Friday, fighting had mostly petered out after Future Movement fighters laid down their weapons and allowed themselves to be escorted away under the protection of Lebanese troops.

[…] Christian and Druze pro-government factions stayed out of the fighting, leaving the Sunni Future Movement the only combatants to face Hezbollah and Amal. Even the Lebanese Army elected to remain on the sidelines during the street clashes, only stepping in once the fighting had dampened down.

[…] The only neighborhood in west Beirut that escaped the Hezbollah offensive was Tariq Jdeide, a Sunni-populated area and a bastion of support for the Future Movement.

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