It escalated following the events of “Tayouneh” and warnings of its repercussions on the military establishment
Since the events of Tayouneh, last Thursday, in which demonstrators loyal to Hezbollah and the Amal movement were killed, the voices of Hezbollah officials have risen to hold the security forces, especially the army, responsible for what happened directly or indirectly, to come back and announce a minister Defense Maurice Selim rejected the demands of some of them to dismiss Army Commander Joseph Aoun, praising the “work of the military institution.”
The accusations against the army, in terms of its negligence in its mission, began with the spread of a video clip of a soldier shooting at the demonstrators, until Hezbollah representative Hassan Fadlallah asked the security forces by saying: “Why when we put our security in the custody of the security forces, we have martyrs?” This is what some of them see as attempts by the party to weaken this institution, at a time when sources close to the party confirm to Asharq Al-Awsat that the demand to dismiss the army chief is not on the table at all at the present time for the party.
Regarding the campaign against the army, political sources close to the army leadership told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Every period, a campaign against the army and its commander begins, and this is evidence that it operates at the same distance from all sides.” She asked those calling for his dismissal: “Do you accept or agree with their political authority on this matter?”
Regarding the Tayouneh events, the sources confirm that “the army had carried out its duties, brought in reinforcements, and was present in the middle between the two parties,” while stressing that “the investigations are continuing, and they will be announced upon completion.”
Regarding the soldier shooting at the demonstrators, the sources mention that “the army gave a warning that it would shoot any gunman, and there is a possibility that one of the soldiers fired, and therefore not every soldier in this situation can be held accountable,” noting that the army had previously announced that the soldier The shooter is under investigation under the supervision of the competent judiciary.
In the context of the campaign against the army and its criticism by Hezbollah officials, who called for Thursday’s demonstration, along with its ally, the Amal Movement, it seemed remarkable that the latter distanced itself from this criticism, and its political office contented itself, in its statement yesterday, stressing “the necessity of The security, military, and judicial agencies have their role in arresting all the perpetrators, those involved and instigators, and inflicting penalties on them.”
This is confirmed by Representative Qassem Hashem, in the Development and Liberation Bloc (Amal Movement), as he tells Asharq Al-Awsat: “What appeared in the video clip has become the property of public opinion and the security services to investigate what happened and reveal the results,” stressing: “We They are keen on the military institution, and those who defend it most, as a guarantor of national unity.”
Regarding the demand for General Aoun’s dismissal, Qassem says: “We did not approach the issue from this angle, and we refuse to target the army, and what happened is in the hands of the concerned authorities.”
In turn, former Interior Minister Marwan Charbel refuses to hold the security forces and the Lebanese army responsible for what happened in the Tayouneh area, stressing that the responsibility rests with the three parties that were present on the ground; That is, Hezbollah, the Amal Movement and the Lebanese Forces Party, and he told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The laughable thing is that the parties that used weapons in Tayouneh are all in power, and they used non-state weapons, so they demand the army to separate them. , at a time when they themselves – like other parties – bear the responsibility for the tense political discourse that led to this outcome. Despite this, the army performed its duties to the fullest, and its soldiers are suffering from the repercussions of the economic and living crisis.”
On the other hand, political analyst Makram Rabah, university professor, places Hezbollah’s campaign against the army as an attempt to weaken it. He tells Asharq Al-Awsat that Hezbollah has a direct interest in weakening the army, “because it is still the only institution that receives direct support.” From the West, which embarrasses him, because what he cares about is taking over the army by impoverishing the whole country,” he said, citing Hezbollah’s positions and accusing the army of what happened in Tayouneh, in the context of the campaign launched by Hezbollah Executive Council Chairman Hashem Safi al-Din. , when he said two weeks ago that “the Americans influence Lebanon security, politically, financially and economically… Until now, we have not fought a battle to remove the United States of America from the state apparatus. But if the right day comes, and we fight this battle, the Lebanese will see something else.”
Hence, Rabah considers that Hezbollah’s positions are well studied, in attempts to “encircle the army through threats and threats, or by impoverishing it and creating an economically infested environment that prevents these soldiers from getting their salaries, and this is the method that Iran adopts in all the countries in which it is located.” .
Defense Minister Maurice Selim had responded to the criticism against the army by emphasizing that the security forces had carried out their duties, surprising the existence of calls for the dismissal of an army commander such as General Joseph Aoun. Selim added in a television interview: “What happened Thursday in Tayouneh is not an ambush, but rather an ominous accident,” noting that “the circumstances of the incident remain to be determined for the investigation, which depends on facts and evidence that determine the responsibilities for what happened,” stressing that “the security services performed all their duties.” And the Intelligence Directorate contacted – as usual – before moving to all the political forces in the region, and all parties confirmed that there was no intention for the march to have negative goals, or that there was an intention to oppose it.
Regarding the facts of the incident, he said: “The shooting may have taken place from anywhere, and I cannot confirm or deny the presence of snipers. This matter will be clarified within the framework of the investigation, the results of which are awaited,” noting that “the movement on Thursday faced a sudden deviation to some of the secondary streets, which led to the clashes.”
He said: “I am surprised that there are demands to dismiss an army commander such as General Joseph Aoun, who preserved the country and confronted terrorism on the borders and at home. Aoun’s leadership of the army has proven its adequacy, integrity and credibility at home and abroad, and it is playing its role in a distinguished manner, and the demand for his dismissal is unjust,” stressing that “the army under this leadership is a model of national unity,” stressing that “the investigation into the Tayouneh incident will reach results, and will determine responsibilities, We will be obligated to announce the results.”