Hezbollah has opened a new illegal border crossing along Lebanon’s eastern border with Syria, al-Arabiya said today quoting a recent report said. According to the Saudi run news-agency, the Iran-backed group has developed the border crossing, previously used to facilitate the entry and exit of its fighters, to be used by civilians as well, according to Asharq al-Awsat.
A newly paved road used for the crossing is outside the scope of the watchtowers set up by the British Army and later taken over by the Lebanese army.The United Kingdom helped install more than 30-foot watchtowers along Lebanon’s border with Syria.The UK has also donated 350 Land Rovers, 4,000 sets of body armor and delivered training to 11,000 Lebanese personnel.
Al-Arabiya revealed, highlighting that Hezbollah’s fighters still use nearby roads to get in and out of Syria. Local residents were quoted as saying that Hezbollah plans to use the new crossing to bring humanitarian aid to Lebanon’s Bekaa due to the food shortage.Lebanon is experiencing an unprecedented economic and financial crisis. A shortage of US dollars has made importing products difficult while prices of basic foodstuffs have skyrocketed.
While many of Lebanon’s plagues are rooted in years of financial mismanagement and a culture of corruption among the country’s elites, some are beyond Beirut’s control – like the coronavirus pandemic and the war next door in Syria.Now, a new set of wide-ranging United States sanctions threaten to add to Lebanon’s troubles. Analysts warn that the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act could foster greater political instability and conflict in Lebanon over the divisive issue of ties with Syria and Iran-backed Hezbollah’s out sized role in the country.
The Caesar Act was conceived as a tool to pressure and sanction those who aid the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – most notably Russia and Iran, the countries credited with turning the tide of Syria’s nine-year war in al-Assad’s favour. The act is named after a Syrian military photographer who leaked some 55,000 pictures of people who were systematically tortured and killed by al-Assad’s regime, and aims to punish and pressure the regime, stop human rights abuses and push for a political transition.
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