There were reports of fresh violence in Tripoli this morning as the Lebanese army said it was prepared to use force to restore law and order. Military commanders say troops will “halt violations in accordance with the law”.
Clashes between pro-government militias and factions allied to Hizbollah have left around 80 people dead in a week. Mediation efforts are underway, but pro-government Christian politician Amine Gemayel says dialogue will only be possible if Hizbollah’s spiritual leader gives a personal assurance that weapons “will not be used in internal conflicts again.”
Months of simmering tension exploded into violence when the anti-Syrian government introduced measures to clampdown on Hizbollah, which is backed by Damascus. The army, seen as a neutral force brokered compromise in Beirut.
But with all factions, particularly Hizbollah, heavily armed it’s unclear to what extent the military can impose order across the country.