Lebanon to deploy forces to Hezbollah stronghold
800 soldiers will take over security in south Beirut neighborhoods rocked by deadly explosions in recent months
The Lebanese interior minister announced that Lebanese forces will take over security in the Hezbollah stronghold of Dahieh in south Beirut on Monday afternoon.
Speaking to AFP on Sunday, Marwan Charbel said that 800 soldiers would be deployed.
In mid-August, 27 people were killed and some 300 injured in a explosion in the Rweiss district in south Beirut. A month earlier, more than 50 were wounded in a similar attack.
In the aftermath of those attacks, Hezbollah soldiers took local security into their own hands, establishing checkpoints where cars were stopped and drivers were asked to present identification.
According to Charbel, the Lebanese forces deployed to south Beirut will be engaged in “checking suspect vehicles and the identities of suspicious persons.”
“No one else will be authorized to be present at the checkpoints,” Charbel added.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah was expected to make a televised speech on Monday addressing the new security arrangements.
MP Mohammed Raad, the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary faction, said on Sunday his party “welcome[s] the decision of the state security agencies to assume their security missions in Beirut’s southern suburbs.”