Vultures Circling Beirut, What is Next for Lebanon?

  • Beirut continues to be in the turmoil.
  • Turkey and Saudis have a vested interest in the Beirut instability.
  • US has a chance to further its own geopolitical agenda.

Beirut is reeling from the horrendous, tragic explosion that occurred on August 4th. Thereafter, the Prime Minister resigned amid an investigation of the blast and failure to act previously. Furthermore, civil unrest and anger followed the explosion. There are over 1,000 injured in clashes with the police and the army.

On the evening of 4 August 2020, at 18:08 EEST, multiple explosions occurred in the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The main explosion was linked to approximately 2,750 tonnes (3,030 short tons) of ammonium nitrate that had been confiscated by the government from an abandoned ship and stored in the port without proper safety measures for the previous six years.

Hypothetically, further escalation can be reduced if a mechanism, like a government of popular confidence, is formed. But this does not benefit those who are trying to inflame the conflict even more acutely.  The Lebanese crisis continues. It should be noted that France is on the forefront of the crisis looking at the long term solutions.

It is also plausible that Turkey can play a game to make the situation worse. That is, accomplishing such by getting the representatives of Sunni groups close to the Muslim Brotherhood into the government.

Thus, this representation will allow expanding its economic presence in Lebanon in the future. Turkey does have influence on some Sunni organizations, which are the active environment for the current protests.

Israel is another major player with its own interests. For Israel, the destruction of the current government of Lebanon as a way to weaken Hezbollah’s influence. Israel does not have a strong social base in Lebanon, but it has ways of manipulating the information space, primarily on the Internet, as well as finances to fuel radical groups. In addition, the Mossad can influence riots. Mossad is one of the strongest intelligence agencies.

Saudi Arabia is equally interested in ousting Hezbollah, and removing French interests from Lebanon. For the Kingdom, the current situation is a chance to recoup the political defeat of two years ago.

At the same time, Saudi Arabia has both finances and influence on some Sunni organizations (not controlled by Turkey), which may play an active role in the protests.  Also, the Saudis have gotten carte blanche from the West, when no sanctions were implemented in the Jamal Khashoggi murder.

The US can gain additional edge on the geopolitical arena.  Control of Lebanon will make it possible to significantly change the balance of forces in Syria, to push Hezbollah, playing into the hands of the Israeli lobby in the United States.

Hezbollah (Party of Allah) s a Shia Islamist political party and militant group based in Lebanon. The group is considered a terrorist organization by some countries.

The growing tension in Europe due to a new flow of refugees this time from Lebanon (which is almost inevitable) of about half a million people in the crisis will be a big problem for the EU.

Overall, the current tumultuous situation in Lebanon is an opportunity for the key world players.  Under any circumstances, Lebanon is doomed to a change of government and new elections. However, they are unlikely to help find peace and prosperity in this country.

Hypothetically, Lebanon has a way to avoid problems. For example, if it is followed by an appeal to a third country to support stability in Lebanon. At present, such an appeal is most likely to be made to France, which has both the financial and military resources to ensure stability in Lebanon of a French-friendly government. Whether it will follow is an open question.

Meanwhile, Lebanon is experiencing a crisis— economic, political, and social. The populous and children continue to suffer as a result of the explosion and the domino effects leading the country into chaos.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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