| 2 February 2023, Thursday |

Is drone assassination tolerated in Lebanon?

Since the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and before him the attempted assassination of former MP and Minister Marwan Hamadeh, not to mention all the assassinations that followed, including those through a car bomb, such as President Rafik Hariri, MPs Walid Eido, Antoine Ghanem, Gebran Tueni, Elias Murr, Samir Kassir, Mhammad Chatah, and Major General Wissam Al-Hassan and Major Wissam Eid, and the attempted assassination of Former minister May Chidiac and George Hawi, and the deputy and former minister Pierre Gemayel.

The means were numerous, and the assassination was one of them, and the unifying factor of all these assassinations was that they did not bear a signature, even if it was undeclared, with the exception of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination, where he appeared in a tape recorder who claimed to be the suicide bomber “Abu Adass,” despite all investigations revealing that there was no suicide bomber in a Mitsubishi car.

That suggests the cassette “Abu Adass” was meant to mislead.

Two facts emerged from all of the assassinations:

The first is the International Court’s judgment that the bombing was conducted out by “Hezbollah members, mainly Salim Ayyash.”

The second is former Minister Michel Samaha’s admission that he transported explosives from Syria into Lebanon and was captured transferring the explosives to the individual who was meant to install them in the locations agreed upon with Samaha. Aside from that, the investigations yielded no conclusive judgments, even though facts were very obvious!

Car bombs and devices in targeted vehicles: The terrorists and those behind the “assassination scene” did not invent a new method, but what happened in Baghdad regarding the attempt to assassinate Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi via marches carrying explosives drew attention in Lebanon to the possibility of opting for this method in assassination attempts, and this fact is dangerous. The following factors play a significant role:

Drones can be imported, installed, armed with explosives, and sent in Lebanon’s closed zones and open borders.

The arrival of the drones into the “world of explosives” alters the techniques and conditions of protection. The concrete cubes, iron barriers, and security cameras existed during a terrorist period other than the marches. Perhaps safe havens, rather than bunkers, exist underground, where explosives and missiles cannot reach.

Lebanon has shuttered both Lebanese and non-Lebanese security quarters. Weapons and equipment are delivered to them via the airport, ports, or across the Syrian border.

Following what occurred in Baghdad, it is reasonable to suspect that the drones have become available in Lebanon, thus the issue remains: When will the first operation be carried out?

  • Sawt Beirut International