| 2 December 2021, Thursday |

Geagea informs SBI about events in Tayouneh, asks Hezbollah: “What are you afraid of?”

The Leader of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, showed a heated position in an interview with journalist Walid Abboud on Sawt Beirut International, stating the following:

We may deem yesterday’s happenings as “Mini May 7,” because we need to get back to the main purpose of “May 7” this time, which is the Beirut Port crime investigations. However, despite Lebanon’s plurality, the first complaint was referred to a Christian judge named Nassib Elia, the second was referred to another judge named Janette Hanna, and the third complaint was referred to a final judge named Hani Eid? It was necessary for Christians to have May 7th in order to achieve the goal, which until this moment is the dismissal of Judge Tarek Bitar, specifically in order to eliminate the investigation into the Beirut port explosion, not for any other personal reason against Judge Bitar. To be honest, I’m not sure why they persisted on destroying the investigation, but I base my opinion on the practical indicators that we all know. The judicial investigator in this crime is Judge Tarek Bitar, and how did the circumstances decide that legitimate suspicion lawsuits were filed to dismiss him? To be completely honest, I had never heard of Judge Bitar until he was appointed. I believed he had a “Baby Face,” thus I wondered what this judge could do with such a large case.

Four months ago, Nasrallah started attacking Judge Bitar, and since that I personally began to notice what this judge was trying to do, and the events began to follow. I don’t know Judge Bitar on a personal level, and I don’t know what he is doing in this file, and I do not think that there is a possibility for any of us to know what he is doing, given that the investigation is confidential and only the people directly concerned with it are aware of it regardless of what measures Judge Bitar takes. Logic says that there are some procedures that are under implementation, and there is an investigation that is taking its course. The preliminary result of this investigation is the indictment, so why not wait for this decision to be issued? I have no idea what Judge Bitar is doing with this case, and I don’t think any of us will ever know what he’s doing, given that the investigation is confidential and only those directly involved with it will know what he’s doing, regardless of what Judge Bitar accomplishes. Imad Khoury contacted the army commander and the internal security forces, informing them that they are fully aware of the traditional sensitivity that exist between Ain Al-Remmaneh and the suburb, and that they should maintain a strong military presence in the region. Khoury made his contacts, and told me that he had heard from the army leadership that they had taken all the necessary precautions and they were fully aware of this point, And they will deploy military groups at every crossroads from the suburb towards Ain Al-Remmaneh.

We met to examine the options available to us if “Hezbollah” was able to dismiss Judge Bitar. So there is only one option left, and that is if Hezbollah decides to go down to the ground and stops judge Bitar by force. We, at the “Strong Republic Bloc”, have taken the decision that the best way to confront is to call immediately for a general closure.

It was claimed that demonstrators were passing through the area, but groups of the “Lebanese forces” attacked them, and this is completely wrong. The itinerary of the demonstration is: Suburb – Tayouneh Roundabout – Badaro – Adlieh. Here I want to ask all media outlets and investigators, for the army was there, to determine the account of the initial confrontation, given that there was a first conflict and then a larger event occurred somewhere else, which I don’t know where or how, and everyone saw groups of individuals rushing out of the area, some were armed.

I would like to ask the Minister of Interior, who rushed yesterday to say that the demonstration was fired at , while the demonstration was in a completely different place, it followed the suburb – Tayouneh roundabout – Badaro – Adlieh, but the accident occurred in one of Ain El-Remmaneh’s neighborhoods.

The reason for the Minister of Interior’s stance is that he is unaware of the facts and has followed a political trend. Talking about a military organization is never true, and the Lebanese army is the only one who knows the facts as they are. Only two or three events occurred in the previous six months, so certainly, everyone was there, patiently waiting, watching. We are on the ground, and this is true. We are in all the areas where we have a presence. We are not absent from any issue, and here no one should forget how many incidents occured between Ain al-Remmaneh and the suburb ” Al-Dahieh”. Allegations regarding a military deployment are completely mistaken. The presence did not go beyond the normal presence of young people in their neighborhoods. As for talking about snipers, the army arrested snipers, let it tell us who they are and where they came from.

First and foremost, the accident occurred in Ain El-Remmaneh, and what happened was that the demonstration passed and proceeded to “Adlieh,” where they joined those already present, which is a natural matter and the right of every Lebanese, and they attempted to enter Ain Al-Remmaneh from the first junction, and Army confronted them. Then they tried to enter from the second junction, the army repulsed them, but when they reached the third junction, their number had grown. They became about a hundred or two hundred people, and three or four soldiers were standing at this intersection, so they attacked them and threw them aside, and this matter is completely clear in the videos, and documented, and they moved towards Ain Al-Remmaneh. They began by smashing neighboring automobiles and crashing with individuals, which resulted in the first accident, but it was not the only clash that resulted in victims. No one confronted them when they were actually protesting; it wasn’t until they attempted to enter the region that all cameras recorded how the operation was carried out. Before any bullet was fired, 4 people were wounded from Ain al-Remmaneh, before any dead or wounded from the other side fell, and I am very sorry for this, and their leaders who dragged them to this very place, bear responsibility for what happened.

The Minister of the Interior can claim anything he wants, but I have no idea who fired the shots, so let them pursue investigations to find out the truth. I regret that the Intelligence Directorate is summoning people from Ain El-Remmaneh! These people were sitting in their homes and their region, There is nothing wrong with summoning them, but it is better to summon those who came to attack them, because it is more correct to summon the aggressor before the one who is attacked.

I want to remind of an incident that took place in the area three or four years ago, when they entered the area from the suburbs, and when they reached the first house, they stormed it and killed one person there. It turned out that he belongs to the “Free Patriotic Movement”, so that you can sometimes see how fortunes are. I believe FPM’s members are a long way from their leadership, and they were, of course, among the people. There is a witness on this incident who has been present on the ground from Wednesday night until after it ended, the Lebanese army.‏ It was present in abundance at all intersections, and in order to be able to enter Ain al-Remmaneh, they overthrew one of the army’s checkpoints.

In response to claims saying that the Army defaulted to act, Geagea said: This is completely false, I watched the full video recordings, it was very clear that the attackers were about two hundred people, as there were three or four soldiers at the military point. And to be honest, the soldiers tried to stop them and prevent them from entering, but the attackers “stacked them by the wall.” What exactly are they expecting the soldier to do? To open fire on 50 persons? Army couldn’t take any additional actions!

Let the Minister of Interior ask the army what happened to them on the ground. They raided the separation wall that the army had put between the demonstration area and the Ain al-Rummaneh region. Army was attacked by battalion in every sense of the word, I hope that all media outlets, investigators and judges head to Ain Al-Remmaneh and ask people there about the incident. What did they want on May 7? They wanted on that day to impose their presence by force in order for the government to reverse the decision it had taken‏. Today, the same happened, to retract the decision of appointing Judge Bitar. They always want a political victim, they cannot accuse the people of Ain al-Remmaneh because this will not benefit them in anything in politics, so they accuse the “Lebanese Forces”.

Geagea, when asked whether “Samir Geagea” has foiled a new May 7: It is not Samir Geagea, it is the population of Ain El Remmaneh. In order to show the extent of the lies and cheating they are doing, they claim that what happened is the result of meetings held in Maarab the night before. A personal security official, Pierre Jabbour, was assigned to go to the area, and he did so and gave instructions.

Geagea continued: Are you aware that Pierre Jabbour handed over responsibility for my personal protection to a party responsible, civil, and administrative in the Byblos region a year ago?

In response to a question about the reason why Aoun called him if he was not behind what happened, Geagea said: “I know President Michel Aoun very well. He called me out of a preconceived notion and determination in order to hold me responsible, It is shameful that such things happen in similar circumstances. He told me after he asked me how are you: We must stop this matter. No one thinks that we will resign or run away or get out of the crowd, so if there is an emergency in Zahle, for example. I alerted President Aoun from the first minute, and asked him to assign the Army to disperse them and order them to return to their homes. The contact between me and the president was bad, and I felt the bad intension behind it, What he wanted to say was not at all a matter of advice, as the President of the Republic is the most knowledgeable person of what is happening on earth. I think he intended let those who are concerned hear that he is on their side and accuses us in the same way they accuse us, and this matter is absolutely unacceptable. I will say it again, I have known General Aoun for 40 years. I did not like his call. What is this longing that he suddenly felt after 3 years during which no contact or exchange of words took place. As long as the Lebanese army is present, “they can’t do anything,” but I am afraid that they will circumvent the leadership of the Lebanese army, because the army commander is Aounist par excellence, but he has principles and honor.

I do not want to say that before October 14 is not the same as after it, but the Lebanese are fed up with Hezbollah. Hezbollah cannot control the internal game in Lebanon, so let them learn from what happened in Iraq, and they should know that the game is democratic. We want to prosecute those who dragged Lebanon into sedition, and we have no objection to any judicial measure regarding the referral of Tayouneh case to the Judicial Council and all this escalation viv a vis Judge Bitar. We hope that there will be an investigation targeting all people, especially those who carried weapons and tried to break into people’s honor and property. If Hassan Khalil, Zuaiter and others do not attend, then let Bitar issue arrest warrants against them, and in the event of their absence, this is an additional presumption of their involvement in the case. What is this logic that Nasrallah uses that for every minister, another minister should be summoned? What is Sayyed Hassan afraid of?

The background of Judge Bitar’s family is a Syrian national, so will he “go” to the “American-Zionist” line “at once”? Mikati’s government is in danger, and every day they obstruct it. President Mikati is trying to do some things to relieve the people. They will not allow him to do so while his government is threatened, and every day they booby trap it, and today it is the judicial mine. Our view of the system is unified, but there are certain levels, and we must talk about people who are trying to alleviate people’s pain, Nasrallah is trying to make things harder, while the president is on another planet. President Aoun has only one case, and it is to bring Bassil to power, and everything he does is in this field.

Our first goal is to overthrow the current majority because it has brought the country to what we are today, and the “future” is sometimes with the majority and sometimes with the minority, it does not know where to stand. In the last elections, we were alone and did not ally with anyone, and the Future Movement allied itself with the “Tayyar” in many ballots regions. Hezbollah will sacrifice everything for the “Tayyar” in order to cut off the Lebanese Forces’ path. All matters are on the table in the Chouf-Aley situation, and all possibilities are on the table, and we are relying on the “Tayyar” to let Walid Bey know that it cannot agree with him. I do not think that the Tayyar will ally with Walid Bey. Hezbollah does not want to reveal the truth about the port bombing case, despite the great internal and external pressures to reveal the truth. If Hezbollah tries to blow up the investigation using the street, we will call for a general closure in the country. Berri tried a lot to remedy the situation, such attempts are counted in these circumstances.

Samir Geagea in response to what he would say to President Aoun: It is all in vain, no need to address him.