Sectarian Violence In Beirut

The deadliest sectarian violence in Lebanon in over a decade erupted as hundreds of armed Hezbollah and Amal Party supporters marched toward the Palace of Justice in Beirut to call for the removal of a judge leading the investigation into the August 2020 port explosion. Sniper fire from rooftops—allegedly by the Christian Lebanese forces—killed at least six people, forcing demonstrators and journalists to take shelter. The willingness of the terrorist group Hezbollah, Iran’s largest proxy, to publicly threaten perhaps the sole remaining functioning Lebanese institution, leaves Lebanon on the brink of either total state failure or complete Hezbollah control. Meanwhile, the sectarian clashes could push Lebanon into a new civil war and Hezbollah into conflict with Israel.

As turmoil within Lebanon continues, the United States should signal its strong support for an independent judiciary, keep a spotlight on the need for full accountability for the August 2020 Beirut port explosion, continue targeting Hezbollah and Lebanon’s corrupt political elite with sanctions, and strictly condition any further assistance to Lebanon’s imploding economy and Armed Forces on the implementation of essential reforms, including the reduction of Hezbollah’s ruinous influence and military hegemony. 

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JINSA Staff Contributors

Ari Cicurel – Senior Policy Analyst
Andrew Ghalili – Senior Policy Analyst
Sam Millner – Policy Analyst