Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Lebanon: Emergence Of Military Formations Close to Syrian Regime Drives Fear among Anti-Assad Camps | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Arab Tawhid Party chief Wiam Wahhab

Beirut- Arab Tawhid Party chief Wiam Wahhab announced Sunday the formation of the “Tawhid Brigades”, a militia affiliated with his party that will “soon” start operating in “all Lebanese regions”.

Wahhab claimed it would support the Lebanese security forces in repelling any threat that Lebanon can face, and the military training called “Cubs and Students” conducted by the Syrian Socialist National Party (SSNP).

The announcement instigated fears of many Lebanese that oppose the Assad regime in Syria.

The two military groups raised several question marks concerning the target and the purpose of their formation at this sensitive time, particularly that both are directly linked to the Syrian regime.

Last August, the emergence of a group called Homat al-Deyar (Protectors of the Homeland) with images circulated over social media showing members being trained to use weapons had prompted Interior Minister Nohad Mashnouq to announce his intention to prepare a security and legal file that will be raised to the Cabinet with a request to dissolve the permit given to Homat al-Deyar.

Wahhab said the group will “stand by the Lebanese army and Lebanese security forces in repelling any threat that Lebanon might face, adding that his new group will not be restrained to a certain region or certain community and it will allow everyone to join it.

Wahhab’s comments coincided with the announcement of the SSNP party, registering a number of party minors after completing a military training camp.

Hisham Jaber, a retired Lebanese general who heads the Middle East Center for Studies and Political Research in Beirut, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the absence of the state was behind the spread of militias.

“I am certain that such military formations would not have seen the light in the presence of a strong and cohesive government,” he said.