Lebanon is back in the headlines after an explosion ripped through a bus in Tripoli, killing 18 people, including soldiers, and injuring tens more. And although the day the explosion happened marked the first visit of the newly elected Lebanese President Michel Suleiman to Syria – a visit which was highly anticipated and monitored by both pro-government and opposition officials – news of the explosion took over the media coverage.
Tony at Across the Bay argues that this incident is a continuation of a Syrian plot alongside its followers and allies in Lebanon to disrupt the country’s independence and links it to the earlier events and conflicts in Tripoli:
The Syrians and Hezbollah made sure to first undercut local confidence in the Army in the Sunni community (which is something they didn't foresee when they tried Nahr al-Bared and Fateh Islam, but they've since adjusted), before turning it up in Tripoli once again.
This is a continuation of the Assad regime's open war on Lebanon's Sunnis, and through them, on Lebanon's fragile independence for which they are a central pillar. That was the point of Rafik Hariri's assassination in 2005, it remains so today.
A Diamond’s Eye View of the World’s blogger woke up to find news of the explosion welcoming her as soon as her internet browser launched. She reminds herself how no news about Lebanon on the front page is good news:
When I get up in the mornings, the first site I see when I open my browser is the BBC’s news site: news.bbc.co.uk. And when I was in Beirut, I knew that it would be a good morning when Lebanon was not one of the news items bulleted at the top of the page – or, worse, the lead item.
This morning, of course, Lebanon was much in the news, thanks to the bus bombing in Tripoli and President Sleiman’s scheduled state visit to Syria…
…I’m watching Tripoli today and wondering, as I have frequently over the past two months, about what exactly is going on up there – and what it might portend for the rest of the country.