President Michel Aoun tried again today to justify the presence of Hezbollah arms in Lebanon , stressing that the Lebanese army is not strong enough to defends Lebanon
Aoun, a key all of the Iranian backed militant group also issued a personal guarantee that Hezbollah will not point its guns against the Lebanese people.
“As long as there is Israeli-occupied land and as long as the army is not strong enough to fight Israel, we sense that there is a need for the presence of the resistance’s arms so that they complement the army’s weapons,” Aoun said in an interview on the Egyptian TV channel CBC.
“Hezbollah are the residents of the South and are among the Lebanese citizens whose land was occupied and part of the land is still occupied,” the president noted, emphasizing that “certainly Hezbollah’s arms do not contradict with the State and are an essential component of the means to defend Lebanon.”
Aoun added: “We have a land occupied by Israel and when Israel usurps certain territory, it would be difficult to recapture it. This is how we must view Hezbollah’s weapons.”
“It is more than guaranteed that Hezbollah will not turn its arms inwards,” the president stressed.
Hezbollah arms are a huge liability for Lebanon
But Aoun’s guarantee according to analysts does not carry a lot of weight in Lebanon because he has been allied with Hezbollah for 11 years and has been defending the party ever since.
Hezbollah, which was credited with liberating Lebanese territories from Israel in 2000 was a very popular organization in Lebanon and throughout the Arab world. But according to analysts ever since the Lebanese territories were liberated Hezbollah has become a huge liability for Lebanon.
In 2005 former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri was assassinated and 5 Hezbollah members were accused of being behind his murder and are being tried by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in absentia because Hezbollah refused to hand them over to the court.
In 2006 Hezbollah kidnapped 3 Israeli soldiers which triggered a war with Israel that devastated Lebanon. Soon after the war ended Hezbollah tried to use its arms internally to bring down the government of former PM Fouad Siniora.
In 2008 Hezbollah pointed its guns against the Lebanese people when it occupied more than half of Beirut and tried but failed to occupy Mt Lebanon .
In 2011 it brought down the government of former PM Saad Hariri and reportedly used its arms to force progressive socialist party leader MP Walid Jumblatt and his parliamentary bloc to vote for their candidate Nagib Mikati as the new premier .
Hezbollah’s current support for the Syrian regime in its brutal crackdown against the pro democracy uprising is another main concern for the Lebanese people, analysts say.
Hezbollah and its backer Iran were blamed for the 29 month of presidential vacuum in Lebanon.
For the above reasons analysts consider Hezbollah the number one liability for Lebanon