Hezbollah has long been criticized for creating inside Lebanon what is effectively a state-within-a-state, where the Iran-backed terror group’s power and weaponry functionally eclipse Beirut’s sovereignty. Lebanon’s Future bloc – the largest faction of the country’s Western-aligned March 14 Alliance – made the criticism a little more pointed this week:
“The arms which are not under the state’s authority are the reason behind the Lebanese people’s emigration [legally] and illegally,” the Future bloc said in a statement issued following its weekly meeting in reference to the recent incident of the sinking of a boat carrying Lebanese asylum-seekers. At least 29 Lebanese asylum-seekers are missing after their boat capsized off Indonesia on its way to Australia, the Lebanese Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
Hezbollah has also been critical in allowing the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria to extend that country’s two and a half year conflict, violence from which has spilled over into Lebanon.
The two dynamics are among several which have led some analysts to openly ridicule the suggestion – aired in corners of the foreign policy community – that Hezbollah is a stabilizing force inside Lebanon, let alone that sanctioning the group and undermining its global activities would introduce instability.
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