Friday, 18 July 2008

Morning after

Veteran Lebanon reporter Nicholas Blanford sheds some light on potential trouble for Hizbollah on the morning after the night before:

Hezbollah's leaders have long championed intra-Muslim unity, believing that the schism between Shiites and Sunnis only benefits the enemies of Islam.

Yet, since May, Hezbollah has been slow to reconcile with moderate Sunni leaders, who were left looking weak and helpless before the Shiite party's military machine.

Angry, humiliated, and frightened by the May clashes, Sunnis are clamoring for weapons and training, a step that the moderate Sunni leadership is unwilling or unable to take.

That leaves an opening, however, for Sunni extremists to move in. And there are mounting indications that Al Qaeda-inspired militants are mobilizing.

A previously unknown group called the Sunni Resistance recently circulated a list of names of Sunnis cooperating with Hezbollah, calling for their assassination.

"It's a very dangerous atmosphere. We see these tensions happening everywhere," says Abdullah Tiryaki, leader of the Fajr Forces, a Sunni armed group allied to Hezbollah.

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