The protests of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese, who have been taking to the streets for the past five weeks had transcended sectarian divisions. The general public were united in their primary focus on fighting against government corruption/ruling establishment and demanding a share of the wealth, as unemployment soars, poverty increases, and living conditions deteriorate.
But now that’s changed. Supporters of Hezbollah, the Shia political party and fighting force aligned with Iran, began attacking protesters last Sunday.
In the town of Tyre, Hezbollah supporters joining forces with another Shia group, the Amal Movement, set fire to tents used by protesters.
Lebanese security forces were called in, launching tear gas to break up the confrontations.
The head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, claims the nationwide protests have created an opening for foreign powers to come in and manipulate the situation with the intent of fomenting another civil war.
Lebanon consists of three main groups: Sunni, Shia, and Christian.
Yesterday, the Lebanese Economic Bodies, a large business group, called for a closure of private institutions from Thursday to Saturday in an effort to get the the divided political parties to form a new coalition and re-ignite the economy.
TREND FORECAST: Protests will escalate as economic conditions continue to deteriorate and divisions among the ruling groups intensify. In addition, Lebanon, with its Iranian supported Hezbollah, will be involved in military conflicts between Israel/U.S./Saudi alliances vs. Syria/Iran factions.