- Politics and Social Issues
Al-Qaeda Declares War on Lebanon
Few news organizations have even bothered to mention this. As if the Middle East needed to have yet another danger dagger pointing a Israel, three al-Qaeda affiliated groups have declared war on Lebanon making Iran very nervous because up to now, Lebanon has been home to Hezbollah, Iran's proxy that declares war on Israel. As odd as it may be, Iran does not want al-Qaeda to challenge them in Lebanon. This is one reason why the USA and Iran are "allies" in the war on al-Qaeda. It is benefiting for them to do so.
On January 26, 2014, Jabhat al-Nusra, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have all declared war on Lebanon. The three groups are actually coordinating their resources to target Hezbollah and the Lebanon government. Of course, Syria and Lebanon have long been friends but the Assad government is supported by Hezbollah, which are Shiite, while the rebels fighting him are Sunni. Nusra has been fighting Assad for over a year and now partly in Lebanon. The three al-Qaeda affiliates have launched 14 attacks against Hezbollah since declaring war on Lebanon.
Part of their strategy seems to be to force Hezbollah to retreat from Syria. Months ago, Assad requested Iran to send in up to 3000 of Hezbollah fighters to assist the Syrian forces retake Homs and other key towns and cities. By al-Qaeda attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon, their fighters will return leaving the Syrian army less capable. Al-Qaeda has established bases in Lebanon and recruiting those who hate Hezbollah, and in Lebanon, that is many. The actual Lebanon army is utterly worthless in being able to do anything (30% is Sunni and 35% is Shiite). The al-Qaeda groups are also seizing key towns along the Beirut-Damascus highway making shipments to Assad difficult and have blocked routes used to import fuel to Assad.
Al-Qaeda does have a following among the many Sunni religious leaders all support one of the three terrorist groups. The Sunni population is being shakened to challenge Hezbollah and the al-Qaeda groups are using that hatred to establish footholds in the country. They want a war with Hezbollah to make the Syrian debacle to spill over the border. Al-Qaeda’s black and white flags are now flying on the streets of Tripoli!
When President Obama states that al-Qaeda is weakened, this simply is not the case. There are more of them. Iran is worried that if a war between al-Qaeda and Hezbollah occurs, their proxy against Israel will be weakened. As for Israel, with so many terrorists on their border it is just a matter of time until something major happens with Israeli action, which may ignite even more hatred. The US continues on its helpless policy, not knowing what to do.
2014 may be the year the Middle East ignites.