A former Lebanese Interior Minister has publicly blamed Israel for the attack on Beirut:
This operation in Beirut was carried out by Israel in a clear and explicit manner,” Machnouk said, adding: “It is clear we are looking at a crime against humanity, and therefore no one dares to claim responsibility for it.”
Nohad Machnouk is the first public figure to expliclty place blame on Israel, and the first in Lebanon as well. My own reporting based on an Israeli source was the first to say that Israel attacked a Hezbollah arms storage facility at the port.
Pres. Aoun suggested that a “foreign actor” might be responsible for an attack. Though his most recent statement rejects the possibility that Hezbollah stored arms at the port–something I would expect him to say as a political ally of the militant group. Even Hassan Nasrallah suggested that Israel might be responsible. But neither did so in nearly as explicit a fashion as Machnouk, who served in the Future Movement cabinet of Saad Hariri.
Machnouk also alleged that missile remnants have been discovered amidst the rubble at the port. Asia Times reports that a “U.S. explosive experts adds this important statement from a Lebanese source:
A US military explosives expert who has worked closely with the Lebanese army told Asia Times on condition of anonymity that according to his contacts among the Lebanese armed forces, the explosion was an “act of sabotage” against the hangar in question, which was allegedly holding not only ammonium nitrate, but short-range missiles.
This accords with the video analysis by Robert Baer, a 30-year CIA veteran Middle East analyst, who said the explosion and ensuing smoke and debris clearly showed evidence that it involved “rocket propellant.” It’s common knowledge that Hezbollah has 130,000 rockets stored throughout Southern Lebanon to use in the event of an Israeli attack.
While Machnouk is allied with a political movement opposed to Hezbollah and so might be expected to embarrass it, his government was responsible for storing the ammonium nitrate at the port. So he and the Future Movement would come in for their share of the blame if his statement proves true. So he would have no vested interest in tarnishing his own reputation.
News reports say the FBI has offered to send a forensics team to investigate the explosion. The Lebanese have accepted. That’s a bit like assigning the Big Bad Wolf’s brother to investigate the death of Little Red Riding Hood. Undoubtedly, the FBI’s main interest will be in assigning full blame to Hezbollah and determining which weapons were being stored at the port.
‘Impossible’ that Beirut port blast was caused by Hezbollah arms, says president.
Sounds like a line from, ‘Casablanca’.
Well, I guess that leaves Israel off the hook.
Richard Silverstein says
@Scarabian: Why is it you post comments whose argument is already rebutted in my Post? Don’t you bother to read the post? Why are you wasting everyone’s time including your own?
You are done in this thread.
From yr article, same words uttered before by Aoun …
Aoun has said the probe is looking into whether neglect, an accident or “external interference” caused the blast.
“Although it seems that (it) has been an accident, I want to avoid being accused of not having listened to every voice,” Aoun told the Italian daily.
He said that many people claimed seeing airplanes fly by the port just before the blast and, although “not very credible”, they should be listened to.
I myself saw early reports of planes in the sky. Credible accounts from children who were Syrian refugees to escape terror from Assad.
STL reading of verdict
No evidence Hezbollah leadership involved in assassination of former Lebanese PM, tribunal judge finds
There is no evidence that the leadership of the Iran-backed Shia Muslim group Hezbollah, or the Syrian government, were involved in the 2005 bombing that killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, a judge said on Tuesday.
Even before judges began reading their 2,600 page verdict into the Hariri’s killing, Lebanon’s an-Nahar daily ran a headline: ‘International Justice Defeats Intimidation’.
I keep thinking of the child’s game of “Clue” only this is literally dead serious. There is conflicting reporting about whether Nasrallah mentioned, blamed, supposed this was an attack by Israel.The blaming continues with motives all around, now too with Machnouk.
Do we know for sure there were Hezbollah short range missiles there?If so, this gives Israel reason to attack, but surely not to cause such a catastrophe with it’s unintended consequences, not to destroy so many lives and the port and Lebanon itself, to make a truly failed state on it’s border.
What does not change is the storage of explosives and the incredible explosion. How much ammonium nitrate, what else ( fireworks, missiles) what served as the match.. all that we still don’t know right?
From Asia Times:
Headline is just bull …
Israel demands action against Hezbollah following Hariri verdict | Ynet News |
In article content admits:
“The judges also said there was no evidence to directly link Syria – the former military overlord in Lebanon — or Hezbollah’s leadership to the attack.”
Richard Silverstein says
Ironic since Israel in the 1980s routinely bombed Beirut, assassinating PLO leaders and other figures it hated. Pot calling the kettle…
A Hidden Tycoon, African Explosives, and a Loan from a Notorious Bank: Questionable Connections Surround Beirut Explosion Shipment
But Grechuskin, on paper at least, did not own the Rhosus. Instead, through a company in the Marshall Islands called Teto Shipping, he had chartered the ship from a company in Panama, Briarwood Corporation, according to official records from Moldova’s Naval Agency.