Lebanon Daily News Brief 10/14/2021

Thursday, October 14, 2021


Violent Clashes Erupt During Protests in Beirut
Violent clashes erupted in Beirut today amidst Hezbollah and Amal protests calling for Judge Tarek Bitar’s removal. At least six people were killed and dozens were wounded after an exchange of gunfire broke out that involved pistols, automatic rifles, and rocket-propelled grenades. Hezbollah and Amal said that armed groups fired at protesters during their demonstration from rooftops. The Lebanese Forces had also called for supporters to gather at the Justice Palace. [AP] The shooting reportedly spread out from the Tayyooneh roundabout, which was a fault line in Lebanon’s civil war. [Washington Post] The Lebanese Army has arrested nine people since the gunfire erupted. [Al Jazeera]

US Under Secretary of State Announces Additional LAF Support
US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland announced an additional $67 million in support of to the Lebanese Armed Forces today. She said that the US is working with Lebanese authorities and the World Bank to help Lebanon as it faces severe economic crisis. Nuland made the announcement in Beirut and further offered the United States’ condolences following today’s eruption of violence in the Lebanon’s capital. [Reuters]

Lebanese Pound Drops Back Down to 20,500
The Lebanese pound is dropping again after recent events in Lebanon. The pound hit a record low at LL23,000 to the dollar on the black market this summer, but the value was brought up to LL15,000 after Lebanon’s new government was formed following a year of deadlock. Yesterday, the pound is back down to LL20,500 to the dollar on the black market. [Al Arabiya]


Carnegie Middle East Center
Kingdom Come
Michael Young

Young writes, “The maximalist Saudi position with regard to Lebanon is not only a case of political opportunity cost, it is creating a situation that is only bolstering Hezbollah’s and Iran’s hegemony. What is most disturbing is that such an approach hews closely to the line of conservative politicians and think tanks in Washington, who cannot see that their harsh recommendations for Lebanon will lead to the very outcomes they purportedly want to avoid. Politics is about acquiring leverage, not killing the baby. Lebanon’s ties to Saudi Arabia are essential, but Riyadh should recognize that the best way of making this clear is to compel Iran and Hezbollah to give the kingdom a seat at the table.”

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.