"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

Lübnan Marunîleri / Yasin Atlıoğlu


Friday, April 19, 2024

IDF: Troops spot Hezbollah cell in southern Lebanon, call in airstrike - The Times of Israel

 The Israeli military carried out an airstrike on a building in southern Lebanon’s Ayta ash-Shab, where the IDF says Hezbollah operatives were gathered.

According to the IDF, the Hezbollah members were spotted by surveillance soldiers of the 869th Combat Intelligence Collection Unit, who then called in the strike.


Israel-Hezbollah border clashes: Latest developments - Naharnet

 Hezbollah targeted Friday a group of soldiers near the al-Raheb post in northern Israel, while Israeli warplanes raided the southern border town of Aita al-Shaab.

Hezbollah on Thursday carried out 11 attacks on northern Israel and the occupied Shebaa Farms and Kfarshouba hills, as cross-border strikes intensified between Israel and Hezbollah.

Fears increased of a regional escalation Friday after Iranian media reported explosions heard near the city of Isfahan and U.S. media quoted officials saying Israel had carried out retaliatory strikes on its arch-rival.

Tensions on the Lebanese border also spiked following an attack by the Iran-backed group that wounded 14 Israeli soldiers.

Hezbollah's attacks in recent days included an increased use of explosive drones while Israel has been increasingly striking deeper into Lebanon and targeting the group's commanders.

The violence has killed at least 370 people in Lebanon, mostly Hezbollah fighters but also at least 70 civilians, according to an AFP tally.


Geagea: This is our land, let EU distribute refugees on its countries - Naharnet

 Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Friday escalated his rhetoric regarding Lebanon’s Syrian refugee crisis, in the wake of the recent murder of LF official Pascal Sleiman at the hands of a Syrian gang.

“This land is our land and if the European Union considers the Syrian refugee file to be a humanitarian issue, then let it distribute them accordingly on all European countries,” Geagea said at a press conference in Maarab.

“What are the measures that the Free Patriotic Movement has taken since 2011 regarding the Syrian refugees issue? What did the president do as of 2016 with a ministerial and parliamentary majority? Deception is the nature of the FPM and before it accuses us of anything, let it tell us what it has done in this file,” Geagea added.

“Some are voicing the excuse that the number of municipal policemen is not enough to address the Syrian refugee problem, but we are ready to offer volunteers to work on this file in all regions, and from now on we won’t remain silent over any shortcomings or negligence,” the LF leader went on to say.


Thursday, April 18, 2024

14 IDF soldiers, 4 civilians wounded by Hezbollah drones, missiles- The Jerusalem Post

 14 IDF soldiers were wounded on Wednesday by two Hezbollah drones and two anti-tank missiles fired at and around a community center in Arab al-Aramshe, a Bedouin village in the northern Galilee.

The village is less than three kilometers from the Lebanese village from which the anti-tank missiles and drones were launched, likely part of why most of the attacks got past Israel’s warning systems as well as its air defense systems, though the IDF was still probing the issue.

Also, the IDF is probing why the building materials for the structures which were hit did not sufficiently protect those inside.

Of the 14 soldiers, six are seriously wounded, two moderately wounded, and six more lightly wounded.


Israel-Hezbollah skirmishes: Latest developments-Naharnet

 Israeli warplanes on Thursday targeted a house in the southern border town of Blida, the National News Agency said.

“Ambulance crews are heading to the location,” NNA added.

An Israeli drone had earlier bombed a home on the eastern outskirts of Markaba.

Hezbollah meanwhile announced fresh attacks on Israeli posts and troops, saying it attacked the Malkia, al-Marj and Hanita positions.

It also announced an overnight attack on an Israeli force that was trying to remove a targeted military vehicle from the Metula post. The new attack caused “certain casualties,” Hezbollah added.

It had announced the death of two of its fighters overnight in the town of Kfarkela.

Israel and Hezbollah have been exchanging near-daily cross-border fire since Israel started its war on Gaza.

The violence has killed at least 368 people in Lebanon, mostly Hezbollah fighters but also at least 70 civilians, according to an AFP tally.


Lebanon says Israeli agents likely killed Hezbollah-linked currency exchanger near Beirut-AP

BEIT MERI, Lebanon (AP) — Lebanon’s interior minister alleged Wednesday that the mysterious abduction and killing of a Hezbollah-linked Lebanese currency exchanger in a villa on the edge of a quiet mountain resort town earlier this month was likely the work of Israeli intelligence operatives.

The killing of Mohammad Srour, 57, who was sanctioned by the U.S., was like something out of an international spy thriller. Pistols equipped with silencers and gloves were found in a bucket of water at the scene, along with chemicals apparently intended to remove fingerprints and other evidence, Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi said in an interview with The Associated Press. Thousand of dollars in cash were left scattered around Srour’s body, as if to dispel any speculation that robbery was the motive.

“Lebanese security agencies have suspicion or accusations that Mossad was behind this operation,” Mawlawi said, referring to the Israeli spy agency. “The way the crime was carried out led to this suspicion.”

He provided no specific evidence for his allegations. Mawlawi said the investigation is still ongoing and once it’s over, the results will be made public and referred to judicial authorities.


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

14 injured in Arab al-Aramshe as Hezbollah retaliates for commanders' killing-Naharnet

 Hezbollah targeted Wednesday three command centers in northern Israel, a day after Israeli strikes in south Lebanon killed two local Hezbollah commanders and another operative.

Hezbollah said it targeted overnight a military vehicle in the Metula post and attacked later in the morning in the Beranit barracks a group of soldiers and a command center with a Burkan missile.

The group also targeted Israel's Meron air control base, another command center in Arab al-Aramshe and other Israeli posts including a group of soldiers in the Ramia post.

Hezbollah said the "combined attack with guided missiles and explosive drones on a military reconnaissance command center" in the northern Israeli village of Arab al-Aramshe was "in response to the enemy assassinating a number of resistance fighters in Ain Baal and Shehabiya".

The Israeli military said 14 soldiers were wounded in the Arab al-Aramshe strike, including six seriously.

On Tuesday, Israeli strikes in Ain Baal and Shehabiya killed two local Hezbollah commanders, Ismail Youssef Baz and Mohammed Shehoury, another Hezbollah fighter, and Amal member Hussein Krasht.


Berri tells Geagea municipal vote 'not possible' without south-Naharnet

 Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said that municipal elections will not happen without including the south where Israel and Hezbollah have been exchanging daily cross-border fire.

"Geagea has to understand that I will not separate the south from Lebanon," Berri said in response to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea who called Tuesday for timely municipal elections, despite the daily clashes in south Lebanon.

Geagea said that the south can be excluded, accusing Hezbollah and its allies of obstructing the municipal elections.

Berri warned against "federalism" in Geagea's statement and said "the municipal vote will not be held without the south."

In April last year, Lebanese MPs voted to extend the terms of municipal councils and other local officials for a year.

"Anyone who contributes to a third extension of the terms of municipalities would be committing an additional crime against Lebanon and the Lebanese people", Geagea said.


Israeli air force states fighter jets hit Hezbollah infrastructure in Lebanon's Baalbek- LBC

 Israel's Air Force said on Wednesday its fighter jets struck Hezbollah infrastructure north of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon amid concerns that increased exchanges of fire between Israel and Hezbollah could fuel further escalation.

"Earlier this evening, fighter jets struck significant Hezbollah [...] infrastructure used by the [...] organization's aerial defense system in northern Baalbek," the statement said.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Bassil suggests new UN resolution to end Israel-Hezbollah conflict-Naharnet

 Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil has sent a letter to the ambassadors of the U.N. Security Council member states, the UNIFIL countries, the members of the five-nation group for Lebanon, the Vatican, the EU ambassador, the U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon, Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker PM Najib Mikati and caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib.

“We again call for the instant implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 with all its terms and for acting at all international forums to condemn Israel’s continued violations,” Bassil said in his letter.

“It’s about time Israel was held accountable for its hostile assault on Lebanon before the situation spirals out of control and descends into a criminal war in the vein of that which is being waged by Israel on the Gaza Strip,” he added.

Reiterating his call for dissociating the situation in south Lebanon from the ongoing war in Gaza, Bassil said the international community can deter Israel’s “plots” by issuing “a new U.N. Security Council resolution based on the principles included in Resolution 1701.”


Monday, April 15, 2024

Hezbollah ambushes Golani unit with IEDs, kills, wounds its members - Al-Mayadeen

 The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon announced on Monday that it ambushed a force from the elite Israeli Golani Brigade that crossed into Lebanese territory from northern occupied Palestine.

In a statement, Hezbollah confirmed the ambush resulted in the killing and wounding of troops from the trespassing unit.

"After closely monitoring and anticipating the movements of enemy forces, fighters from the Islamic Resistance planted a number of explosive devices in the area of Tal Ismail," detonating the IEDs after a unit from the Golani Brigade crossed the border and reached the location of the ambush.

Israeli media described the operation as "exceptional," confirming that the Golani soldiers were targeted with explosives "on the border with Lebanon" early Monday, adding that the incident is being investigated.


Mikati cabinet ministers meet at Grand Serail following Iranian strikes on Israel-L'Orient Today

 EIRUT — A ministerial "consultative meeting" is currently ongoing at the Grand Serail to discuss the current developments on the regional and domestic levels after the Iranian strikes on Israel, according to state-run National News Agency (NNA). The issue of Syrian migrants is also expected to be discussed during the meeting. 

The meeting was first supposed to be a cabinet meeting but caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati decided to call for a consultative meeting instead to ensure the presence of as many ministers as possible, as ministers close to Gebran Bassil's Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) continue to boycott cabinet meetings in the absence of a president.

According to NNA, some FPM ministers attended the consultative meeting on Monday, including Justice Minister Henri Khoury, Social Affairs Minister Hector Hajjar and Tourism Minister Walid Nassar. These three ministers usually boycott the cabinet meetings. 

Hezbollah and Israel have been engaged in daily skirmishes at the Lebanese-Israeli border since Oct. 8, the day after the beginning of the Hamas-Israel war.


Sunday, April 14, 2024

Israeli airstrike targets Hezbollah site in eastern Lebanon: AFP - LBC

A source within the Hezbollah party reported that an Israeli airstrike targeted a party site in eastern Lebanon near the Syrian border on Sunday, amid escalating tensions following a direct Iranian attack on Israel.

The source told Agence France-Presse that "the Israeli raid targeted the area between Nabi Chit and Saraain near Baalbek, hitting a two-story building belonging to Hezbollah," noting no casualties. 

Israel strikes Baalbek district, Iqlim al-Tuffah after Hezbollah attacks Golan twice - Naharnet

An Israeli airstrike destroyed a building in the Baalbek district town of al-Nabi Sheet on Sunday morning, following violent Israel airstrikes at dawn on the Jabal Safi area in Iqlim al-Tuffah, deep in south Lebanon.

A source within Hezbollah said Israel struck one of its buildings in Lebanon's east, close to the Syrian border, as tensions soared after Iran directly attacked Israel.

"The Israeli strike targeted an area... near Baalbek and targeted a two-story building belonging to Hezbollah," a source within the group told AFP, adding there were no casualties.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency also reported that "an enemy air strike targeted a building" in the village of al-Nabi Sheet and "destroyed it."

Earlier Sunday, Hezbollah said it had twice launched barrages of rockets towards the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, after it apparently joined in the major Iranian drone and missile attack against Israel. Hezbollah however said its attacks were in retaliation to Israeli strikes on Lebanese villages that killed and wounded civilians.

The Iranian attack was in response to an April 1 air strike widely blamed on Israel that destroyed an Iranian consulate building in Damascus, killing seven Revolutionary Guards, including two generals.

Hamas ally Hezbollah has exchanged near-daily cross-border fire with Israel since the Palestinian militant group attacked southern Israel on October 7 triggering the war in the Gaza Strip.

The violence has so far killed at least 363 people in Lebanon, mostly Hezbollah fighters but also including at least 70 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

In Israel, the military says 10 soldiers and eight civilians have been killed.

Tens of thousands of civilians have fled their homes on both sides of the border


Saturday, April 13, 2024

Hezbollah suicide drones ravage Israeli soldiers, anti-air systems - Al-Mayadeen

The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon - Hezbollah conducted a series of top-tier operations using a flurry of attack drones, artillery weapons, and guided missiles to hit Israeli targets across the border with occupied Palestine on Saturday.

The Resistance hit Israeli sites, soldiers, and air defense capabilities on a tense Saturday marked by the possibility of an Iranian response to the malicious Israeli attack on the country's embassy to Syria.

Hezbollah's operations on April 13, 2024

  1. At 2:05 pm, Hezbollah fighters launched an operation targeting the Israeli Roueissat al-Alam military site with unspecified "rocket weapons", achieving direct hits
  2. At 3:00 pm, the Resistance's Unmanned Air Force attacked a building in the "Hanita" settlement housing Israeli occupation soldiers with a number of suicide drones, killing and injuring members of the force after dealing direct hits to the target. 
  3. Just 15 minutes later, the Resistance's missile and artillery units targeted Israeli occupation ground forces in "Hanita". 
  4. Later at 5:00 pm, Resistance fighters attacked a grouping of Israeli occupation soldiers in the woodlands of "Har Addir" with appropriate weapons.
  5. 50 minutes later, Hezbollah fighters attacked a grouping of Israeli occupation soldiers in the vicinity of "Biranit" military barracks.
  6. Concurrently, another group of fighters, responding to attacks on Lebanese civilians and towns, targeted an Israeli building used by the occupation soldiers, in "Even Menachem", using the appropriate weapons. 
  7. At 6:20 pm, Hezbollah fighters targeted spyware set up in the al-Raheb military site, dealing direct hits to the intended targets. 
  8. 20 minutes later, Hezbollah responded to Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians and towns, targeting yet another building utilized by Israeli occupation soldiers, this time in "Shtula".
  9. In the last attack announced on Saturday, Hezbollah's Unmanned Air Force attacked Israeli Iron Dome batteries near "Kfar Blum", using a number of attack drones that dealt precise hits to the targets. 

'Most Syrians' in Lebanon will be 'deported,' Mikati says from Bkirki-L'Orient Today

 Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Saturday that "most of the Syrians in Lebanon" will be "deported … when the international community recognizes" the existence of safe zones in Syria. Mikati's remarks were made during a meeting with the Maronite patriarch, Bechara al-Rai, at Bkirki. The comments come against a backdrop of heightened tensions and xenophobic acts against the Syrian community in Lebanon, following what the Lebanese Army has reported as the murder last Sunday of a Lebanese Forces (LF) official by a Syrian gang.

"We are in the process of putting in place a solution through our contacts," Mikati assured the Maronite patriarch, while calling for "a distinction to be made between Syrians who work in Lebanon and those who arrive in Lebanon as refugees to take advantage [of this status]."

"The solution begins by considering most of the regions in Syria to be secure so that Syrians who have come to Lebanon as refugees can be deported there …. Once there are secure regions in Syria and the international community recognizes this, most of the Syrians who are in Lebanon without a job or legal pretext will be deported. We will respect the rights of those who have residence and work permits just as we respect any Arab citizen," the caretaker head of government continued. "Nothing unites the Lebanese today more than the issue of displaced Syrians," he added.

The murder last Sunday of LF executive Pascal Sleiman has raised tensions in Lebanon, with an upsurge in verbal and physical violence against Syrian nationals and their representatives. Since Monday, videos showing individuals assaulting Syrians and vandalizing their cars have been circulating on social networks. On Wednesday, unknown assailants ransacked an office of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSBP) in Jdita, a town in the central Bekaa region. The assailants smashed the office windows, poured petrol on the premises and tried to set fire to it before fleeing, leaving a Lebanese Forces flag behind them.

Mikati, whose visit to Bkirki coincides with the 49th anniversary of the start of the Lebanese Civil War on April 13, 1975, also called for "lessons to be learned" from the past in a context in which the Pascal Sleiman killing has resurrected the specter of war and raised fears of security abuses. "Today we commemorate April 13, the date on which the painful Civil War (1975-90) began. I call on the generations that did not experience the war to learn from it," Mikati said. "We will lose out if we start fighting each other … Everyone must return to the fold of the state," he added.


Friday, April 12, 2024

Geagea says 'confrontation' will continue, but it's not 'sectarian or ethnic' - Naharnet

 Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Friday vowed that “the confrontation will continue,” in the wake of the murder of LF official Pascal Sleiman in the Jbeil district.

“The confrontation will continue until we reach a real, true, firm and final shore of safety,” Geagea told mourners via video link during Sleiman’s funeral in Jbeil.

“Our confrontation is not for exacting vengeance and is not a reaction. It is not a sectarian, regional or ethnic confrontation, but rather for transiting from the bitter, painful, criminal and failed situation that we have been living in for years to a new and aspired situation, like all the societies of the civilized world, where one lives in safety, stability, freedom and dignity,” the LF leader added.

“The confrontation will continue because without it things will not be resolved, although it might be long, because drastic, actual and serious solutions require time, effort, exhaustion and perseverance,” Geagea went on to say.

He added: “Let no one bet on our despair, because we shall not despair. Let no one bet on our tiredness, because we will not get tired. Let no one bet on our retreat, because we will not surrender.”

Sleiman was killed during an attempt to steal his car Sunday in the Jbeil district, the Lebanese Army announced on Monday, after the man’s reported abduction raised tensions in the country and prompted protesters to block the vital Jbeil highway.


At Sleiman's funeral, al-Rahi says refugees a 'threat' but urges against attacking them - Naharnet

 Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Friday presided over the funeral service of slain Lebanese Forces official Pascal Sleiman in Jbeil.

“We are the sons of no-fear, that’s why we do not fear and we shall not be scared,” al-Rahi said in his sermon.

“There has been a lot of evil on Lebanon’s soil and what’s important is to unveil the objectives behind the crime of the assassination of Pascal Sleiman and those behind it, seeing as the truth will certainly appear,” the patriarch added.

Hailing the “courage” of Sleiman’s widow, al-Rahi said that she has urged against “the approach of vengeance and incitement” and called for “pacifying the atmosphere and confidence in military and security agencies, especially in the army, which has managed to unveil the perpetrators.”

“The displaced Syrians have become a threat to the Lebanese in the heart of their homeland and it has become urgent to find a final solution for controlling their presence, with the international and local sides, away from clashes and attacks that would have dire consequences,” the patriarch added.

“There is no president and there is chaos in state institutions, ministries and public administrations, amid the proliferation of arms in the hands of citizens and foreigners on Lebanon’s soil. Who benefits from chaos and from the presence of the war and peace decision outside the state?” al-Rahi asked.

Caretaker Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi has vowed to get tough on Syrians after several were arrested on suspicion of involvement in Sleiman’s killing, in a case that has triggered an uproar in the country and caused political tensions.


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Israel hits Hezbollah targets in Syria - Naharnet

 The Israeli army said early Wednesday it had carried out bombardments on positions of Lebanon's Hezbollah in Syria in a bid to thwart its "entrenchment" in the country.

While fighting Hamas militants in Gaza, Israel has repeatedly said it was also ready to confront Hezbollah and has stepped up strikes, including in Syria, in recent weeks.

An Israeli army statement said the army had "struck military infrastructure that based on precise intelligence was used by the Hezbollah terrorist organization on the Syrian front."

The military released a video of a strike against a building.

Israel has been waging one major campaign against Hamas in Gaza since the October 7 attacks by the group last year and international concern has been expressed about the possible spread of the conflict.

The Israeli army said it "holds the Syrian regime accountable for all activities which take place within its territory and will not allow for any attempted actions which could lead to the entrenchment of Hezbollah on the Syrian front."

"In parallel, in the past hours, the IDF (Israeli army) struck a number of Hezbollah observation posts and terrorist infrastructure in southern Lebanon," the statement added.

"Throughout the day, IDF artillery struck to remove threats in the areas of Dhayra and Tayr Harfa in southern Lebanon," the statement said.

On Tuesday, Israel said its warplanes had hit a Syrian military position in response to rocket fire from southern Syria on the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group based in Britain, said Israeli jets staged raids in Syria on Tuesday and late Monday.


Behind the execution of Lebanese civilian by the Mossad - Al-Mayadeen

 The Lebanese man, Mohammad Srour, was severely tortured by Israeli Mossad agents before he was executed in the Lebanese town of Beit Meri, Lebanese security sources informed on the matter told Al Mayadeen

The killers transferred martyr Srour to an apartment rented for one month located in the town of Beit Meri, north of Beirut, to interrogate him using extreme violence, sources told Al Mayadeen.

Lebanese security circles confirm that Srour was subjected to severe torture before he was killed, and it is strongly believed that the Israeli Mossad was behind the operation. Moreover, Srour was subjected to interrogation while he was handcuffed, and the killers were in direct contact with "Tel Aviv" during the violent interrogation, according to our sources.

Srour was shot multiple times across his body as a form of torture, receiving more than 10 bullets.

"It seems that martyr Srour did not confess to the Mossad members what they sought, so they executed him and left," sources told Al Mayadeen.