A few links to share before lights out (it is currently 2:44 am Damascus time)
In a follow-up to my earlier post on Lebanon, Beirut saw demonstrations in support of Saad Hariri break out Monday evening and An-Nahar is reporting that the protests have spread across Lebanon. The An-Nahar story also quotes US officials as “greatly concerned” by the possibility of a Lebanese government led by Hezbollah. You can read the full story here.
Now Lebanon also has some really interesting photos of the demonstrations here.
The problem with all of this is the language Hariri supporters are using in their protests, accusing Hezbollah of carrying out an Iranian and/or Syrian coup. This is not a good indicator of a peaceful handover of power.
In related news Ya Libnan is reporting that Najib Miqati received 59 votes, with Hariri getting 49, in initial consultations held monday. To win a majority one will need to receive 65 votes. There is also some interesting conjecture on the role of Syria in the overall crisis.
Also, check out Miqati’s wikipedia page here.
More tomorrow. Night kiddies.
UPDATE 11:33am Tuesday, Damascus Time
Nicolas Sarkozy has taken a shot at any potential role Damascus might be playing in Lebanon here.
Also, there are mixed reports that protestors have been seen carrying guns and that shots have been fired in what some are calling a “Day of Anger” in response to the pending candidacy of Najib Miqati.
WSJ also has a good wrap up of the state of things here.
And don’t forget about the potent fighting force that is the Lebanese Army.
UPDATE 12:12 pm Tuesday
Now Lebanon is reporting that Miqati has been confirmed as Lebanese PM with 68 votes.
Both An-Nahar and Now Lebanon are reporting that violence has erupted during anti-Miqati protests. Tripoli, Khalde, and Bekaa seem to be the centers of violence as “heavy gunshots” and “chaos” are being reported. Also in Tripoli, journalists from Al-Jazeera and An-Nahar have apparently been attacked. According to Now Lebanon protestors are also setting fire to an Al-Jazeera vehicle and An-Nahar is reporting that those same reporters escaped into a building where they have been forced to take refuge from angry demonstrators. Apparently an Army rescue of the journalists is in progress. In Tripoli the Army is currently attempting to fend off the crowd from attacking the offices an MP, Mohammad Safadi, who nominated Miqati for PM.
And MP Safadi’s offices have now been burned.
Here are some pictures that are filtering in from Twitter.