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Hezbollah On The Verge Of A Coup In Lebanon

While you were sleeping, Hezbollah basically took over Beirut. My friend Chris Allbritton, until very recently a reporter based in the city, blogs from Dubai:

I’m greatly wishing I could get back to Beirut right now. But the airport is closed, and we’re hearing that Hezbollah is attempting to close Beirut’s port, too. In fact, from the sounds of it, Hezbollah is taking the city — at least the western part of it. This was the threat, and it seems like they’re making good on it.

At the moment, it appears the only way in is overland through Syria via Tripoli — although even that road may have been blocked. NOW Lebanon is currently reporting it’s blocked by burning tires. Not sure who is doing the northern blocking, but that’s a heavily Sunni area, so local Salafis might be attempting to block infiltration of forces from Syria. Masnaa, the other main land crossing was closed by Salafists last night. They have good reason to fear reinforcements from Syria or Iran. When I entered Lebanon on July 13, 2006 to get to the war, an Iranian man came in at the same time — I saw his passport. We exchanged glances and went our separate ways.

Friends in Hamra and nearby ‘hoods report that Hezbollah gunmen have taken the streets and are telling people to stay indoors. They’re also taking pro-government people from their homes. One friend near Sporting Club reported a Shi’ite man in her (mixed) neighborhood was taken by gunmen as he was screaming, “I’m from the Dahiyeh!”

Reports coming in right now report that RPGs are hitting Qoreitam, Saad Hariri’s home in West Beirut.

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