Naharnet

Report: Security Agencies Uncover Plots to Trigger Instability, Assassinations

Some contacts with the aim of triggering confusion and inciting the Sunni community and the Palestinian factions in Lebanon were monitored, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Saturday.

A security source revealed to the daily that they monitored “in the last few days some contacts with the aim of inciting the 'Sunni street' and Palestinian factions, but they have failed in their endeavor.”

According to information, the source warned of assassination plots with the aim of triggering sectarian strife and creating chaos.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity did not elaborate further but said that “former Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi is at risk in that regard.”

Meanwhile, Army commander General Jospeh Aoun has assured that the “security situation is under control and that protecting Lebanon's stability is a priority.”

Since Prime Minister Saad Hariri's shock resignation last week, Lebanon has been embroiled in confusion.

Hariri resigned in a shock announcement broadcast from Riyadh on Saturday as a power struggle intensified between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which backs Lebanon's Hizbullah.

On Friday, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that a new conflict in Lebanon would have "devastating consequences" and said he was engaged in intense contacts with all players to urge de-escalation.

Guterres said he had been holding "very intense contacts" with Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, other countries in the region as well as governments with influence in the Middle East.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also warned other countries Friday against using Lebanon for "proxy conflicts" following the crisis triggered by Hariri's resignation.

Tillerson also described Hariri as a "strong partner" of the United States.

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Friday that Hariri was "detained" by Saudi Arabia and prevented from returning to Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have urged their citizens to leave Lebanon while the UAE has renewed a travel warning.

Source: Naharnet, Agence France Presse


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