Lebanon Daily News Brief 8/19/2021

Thursday, August 19, 2021


Hezbollah Announces Iranian Fuel Ship On Its Way to Lebanon
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said yesterday that Iran will ship fuel oil to Lebanon within hours and that further ships would follow to help Lebanon through its fuel crisis. He warned the US and Israel that once the ship leaves Iran it is considered “Lebanese territory.” He did not say when or where the ship would arrive. [Al Jazeera]

Finance Ministry Pays Alvarez to Conduct BDL Forensic Audit
Yesterday Lebanon’s Finance Ministry paid the Alvarez & Marsal Company $150,000 to complete a full forensic audit of the Central Bank. Alvarez is reported to have already received all data and documents that they requested from the Banque du Liban. Upon caretaker Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni’s signing of the contract with Alvarez in the next few days, the company said it will finish its first preliminary report in 12 weeks. [The Daily Star]

All Coral Gas Stations to Close in Lebanon
Today a source from Coral confirmed that all of its gas stations will close. The source says that for a month the company has unable to secure credits for the fuel-loaded ships that are anchored in Lebanese waters. [The 961] Tomorrow Parliament will meet to discuss a response to Lebanon’s fuel shortage following the Central Bank’s decision to halt fuel subsides. [Reuters]


Middle East Institute
“We will go to your homes and burn you there”: Akkar explosion compounds tragedy and public anger in Lebanon
Christophe Abi-Nassif

Abi-Nassif writes, “The Tleil tragedy leaves us with four alarming signals and takeaways. First, the humanitarian disaster in Lebanon is no longer at the door. It’s in the middle of the house…Second, desertions in the ranks of Lebanese security forces may intensify in the weeks ahead, accelerating a trend that began months ago. Because of their deployment in the area to distribute the seized fuel, many Lebanese army soldiers were among the victims of the explosion…Third, sectarian rhetoric continues to escalate. In addition to deliberate political inaction, Lebanese political leaders are upping the tone of sectarian discourse and exchanging blame for the Tleil disaster, among others…Finally, amid the total collapse of state institutions and an impotent judiciary, Lebanese citizens are growing tired and desperate of the unmitigated and multifaceted crisis. Many broke into a Akkar politician’s house in the aftermath of the incident. Others continue to intercept fuel trucks — many of which are on their way to Syria — and distribute their loads to citizens. The slide toward violence in the country is palpable. ”

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Arab American Institute
The Lebanon I Love is Dying
Dr. James J. Zogby

Zogby writes, “I recall Gibran’s love poem to Lebanon as I see horrors that even he could not have imagined: widespread poverty; corrupt, feudal, sectarian elites dancing on the grave of the country in a vain effort to sustain their privileged roles; and an armed militia functioning as a state within a state — willing to use force to maintain its position. In the future, I want to write about the political situation in Lebanon. For now, I just want to remember what there is to love about the Lebanon that was (and I hope will be again) and damn those who are hell-bent on burying it.”

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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.