Foreign Policy Blogs

Hezbollah Threatens Civil War in Lebanon


I came across was an article featured on, a Lebanese-based news site.  The September 24, 2010 article titled, “Moussawi Warns: Those Who Endorse STL Indictment Mustn’t Be Only Worried, But Also Panic-Stricken” noted that Hizbullah’s MP Nawwaf Moussawi warned that “the period that will follow the (Special Tribunal for Lebanon) indictment won’t be the same as the one before, and any group in Lebanon that might endorse this indictment will be treated as one of the tools of the U.S.-Israeli invasion, and it will have the same fate as the invader.”

What is this referring to, you ask?  Hezbollah, taking a page out of a Mafia playbook, is telling all of Lebanon that anyone who supports the findings of the United Nation’s Special Tribunal for Lebanon on who was behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri (and 22 others in 2005) will be, in essence, treated as a Zionist enemy and killed.  This means that Hezbollah does NOT want any of its own members accused of the crime.  If they are, civil war may ensue.

Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has presented evidence to the tribunal attempting to prove that Israel masterminded the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.  However, Syria was also accused of being behind the plot to assassinate Hariri, which undermined ties between Damascus and Beirut and eventually led to the withdrawl of Syrian troops from Lebanon in 2005 to (what some speculate) was an effort to get rid of the leader (Hariri) who wanted to weaken Syria’s domination in Lebanon.

The Hezbollah leader said that Ahmed Nasrallah had the assassination was meant to spark a sectarian and religious war in Lebanon, adding that if the UN tribual investigating the case fails to consider the new evidence against Israel, that decision will show that the investigation has been politicized and swayed (Source:

Yet, this 5-year-old murder case has stoked a dangerous Lebanon crisis.  On September 27, 2010, Associated Press published an article discussing how the quest to uncover and prosecute Hariri’s killers threatens to tear the country apart.  The possibility that the UN tribunal investigating the murder could indict members of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah — perhaps as soon as next month — is fueling Lebanon’s worst political crisis in years.

Hezbollah’s leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has openly stated that he expects some members of his political party will be indicted, but he vows not to hand them over to be prosecuted.  Pro-Syrian Christian politician Suleiman Franjieh recently stated in a television interview on September 23 that if Hezbollah members are indicted “there will be war in Lebanon.”