[ Ed. note – Battle lines are being drawn in the Middle East, where an alliance between Christians and Shiite Muslims has been building for a while. This is certainly true in Lebanon where the Free Patriotic Movement and Hezbollah are allied with one another. The FPM is a political party founded by Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian who became Lebanon’s president in October of last year. ]
By Darius Shahtahmasebi
Lebanese President Michel Aoun has dismissed claims that the Shia militia known as Hezbollah should be disarmed as long as Israel “fails to respect” U.N. resolutions and international law, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Aoun – a Christian – said the Lebanese-based Iranian-proxy army ensures Lebanon’s “resistance against the State of Israel,” in an interview published Friday by French newspaper Le Figaro. He rejected the notion that Christians needed specific protection in Lebanon, saying the army protects the entire country, “including its Christians.”
In the interview, Aoun also defended his close ties with the proxy army, which is rumored to have played a major role in his election victory in 2016.
Just weeks ago, Lebanon filed a complaint to the U.N. against Israel for violating the country’s airspace and causing damage by breaking the sound barrier in the southern part of the country. According to Lebanese sources, the resulting sonic booms broke windows and shook buildings for the first time in years.
In the interview, Aoun used this recent development to explain the double standard between what Hezbollah was alleged to have done in 2006 (its actions kicked off a short-lived war between Hezbollah and Israel at the time) and what Israel continues to do on a regular basis.
“It’s a classic border incident which escalated due to an Israeli overreaction,” he explained.
You’ll say that Hezbollah violated territory that day – it’s possible. But these types of incidents happen very frequently. A few days ago, Israeli fighter jets broke the sound barrier above [Lebanon]…violating our airspace and shattering glass everywhere.”
In July of this year, U.S. President Donald Trump committed one of his most unusual faux pas when he mistakenly said to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri “Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah.”