Latest Lebanon News

  • Lebanon receives French arms for anti-jihadist fight
    Lebanon receives French arms for anti-jihadist fight Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Lebanon on Monday received the first French weapons in a $3 billion Saudi-funded programme intended to bolster its army to take on jihadist threats, particularly along its border with Syria. More »

  • French weapons arrive in Lebanon in $3 billion Saudi-funded deal Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    The first shipment of French weapons and military equipment arrived in Lebanon on Monday under a Saudi-funded deal worth $3 billion to bolster the Lebanese army's fight against militants encroaching from neighbouring Syria. Lebanese news channels showed a military plane at Beirut International airport with green boxes of weapons and missiles laid out in front. Lebanon, whose sectarian divisions have been exacerbated by the war over the border in Syria, has said it needs more resources and better hardware. The deal will involve about 20 French companies and cover a mix of land, sea and air equipment, including armoured vehicles, heavy artillery, anti-tank missiles, mortars and assault weapons, a French defence ministry source has said. More »

  • France provides first weapons to Lebanon for Islamic State fight
    France provides first weapons to Lebanon for Islamic State fight Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    The first French weapons from a $3 billion Saudi-funded programme will arrive in Lebanon on Monday as allies seek to bolster the country's defences against the Islamic State group and other jihadists pressing along its Syrian border. More »

  • Lebanese TV contempt trial opens at Hariri tribunal
    Lebanese TV contempt trial opens at Hariri tribunal Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    The contempt of court trial of a Lebanese journalist and her television station opened Thursday before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, set up to try the killers of slain former premier Rafiq Hariri. More »

  • Lebanese journalist accused of exposing Hariri witnesses
    Lebanese journalist accused of exposing Hariri witnesses Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    By Thomas Escritt THE HAGUE (Reuters) - A Lebanese reporter and her TV station went on trial on Thursday accused of jeopardising the case against the alleged killers of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri by trying to expose witnesses. A prosecutor at the U.N.-backed court in The Hague said broadcasts in 2012 by journalist Karma Khayat and the Lebanon-based Al-Jadeed TV station had risked ruining the investigation into the 2005 assassination of Hariri. "If witnesses are too frightened to come to this tribunal, then this tribunal is finished," said prosecutor Kenneth Scott. "$500 million has been paid by us for this seven-star courtroom in The Hague. More »

  • Lebanese journalist goes on trial for contempt in The Hague
    Lebanese journalist goes on trial for contempt in The Hague Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    Journalist Karma Khayat and the Lebanon-based Al-Jadeed TV station are accused of contempt of court for publishing purported witness lists from the investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was set up with United Nations backing to probe the killing after Lebanese politicians said their judicial system was not up to the task. The tribunal has indicted five suspects, all of them linked to the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah. They remain at large, meaning Khayat will be the first person to appear in the dock in the courtroom since former Liberian President Charles Taylor went on trial for war crimes at another court that shared its premises. More »

  • Vandals attack Christian graveyard in northern Israel
    Vandals attack Christian graveyard in northern Israel Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Vandals have smashed gravestones at a Maronite Christian cemetery in a village near Israel's northern border with Lebanon, Israeli police said on Wednesday. More »

  • 40 years since outbreak of Lebanon civil war
    40 years since outbreak of Lebanon civil war Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Lebanon on Monday commemorated 40 years since the start of its devastating civil war, which left more than 150,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. More »

  • Lebanon civil war still haunts families of disappeared
    Lebanon civil war still haunts families of disappeared Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    Forty years after Lebanon's civil war began, the families of thousands of people who disappeared are still haunted by the conflict and fighting to learn of their loved ones' fate. More »

  • UAE says 'systematic' Iranian meddling in Yemen, region Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    Iran is meddling in Yemen's conflict and elsewhere in the region, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) foreign minister said on Wednesday, and Gulf Arab states had little grounds for hoping they could build normal ties with Tehran. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed added at a news conference that a Saudi-led coalition now attacking Iranian-allied Houthi fighters in Yemen wanted a U.N. Security Council resolution requiring all parties to take part in dialogue and imposing a ban on arms purchases by Houthis and other groups "that are out of line". Asked about evidence to back up allegations by Saudi- and U.S.-backed Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi that Shi'ite Muslim Iran provided support for Shi'ite Houthi militia fighters opposed to his rule, Sheikh Abdullah replied: "Iran is not carrying out this activity only in Yemen, it is doing the same activity in Lebanon, in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and in Pakistan. More »

  • US embassy in Lebanon victim of internet scammers
    US embassy in Lebanon victim of internet scammers Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    The US embassy in Beirut is supposed to reach out to Lebanon's residents, but scammers have reportedly taken advantage, impersonating the ambassador in a bid to solicit money. More »

  • Spain king visits Lebanon after peacekeeper's death
    Spain king visits Lebanon after peacekeeper's death Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    Spain's King Felipe VI called for "peace and harmony" in Lebanon Tuesday on a visit that will take him to the country's troubled border where Israeli artillery killed a Spanish peacekeeper. More »

  • Hezbollah says Iran nuclear agreement 'rules out spectre of regional wa …
    Hezbollah says Iran nuclear agreement 'rules out spectre of regional wa … Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said on Monday that a framework nuclear agreement that Iran reached with world powers last week rules out the spectre of regional war. "There is no doubt that the Iranian nuclear deal will be big and important to the region," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview with Syria's al-Ikhbariya television. "The agreement, God willing, rules out the spectre of regional war and world war," he said. The tentative accord, struck on Thursday after eight days of talks in Switzerland, clears the way for a settlement to allay Western fears that Iran could build an atomic bomb, with economic sanctions on Tehran being lifted in return. More »

  • In Lebanon, destitute camp becomes jihadist refuge
    In Lebanon, destitute camp becomes jihadist refuge Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    Lebanon's Ain al-Helweh camp has long provided a stable, if destitute, bolthole for Palestinian refugees, some of whom have lived within its walls since fleeing their homes more than six decades ago. More »

  • Israelis targeted UN peacekeepers in Lebanon: Spanish report
    Israelis targeted UN peacekeepers in Lebanon: Spanish report Sun, Apr 5, 2015

    A confidential Spanish military report on the death of a Spanish UN peacekeeper in Israeli shelling in Lebanon said he was manning a post that appeared to have been targeted, a newspaper reported Sunday. More »

  • Yemeni fighters repel Houthis in Aden after arms drop
    Yemeni fighters repel Houthis in Aden after arms drop Fri, Apr 3, 2015

    By Mohammad Mukhashaf ADEN (Reuters) - Fighters loyal to Yemen's president pushed Houthi fighters back from central Aden on Friday after they were reinforced with weapons parachuted into their beleaguered section of the southern port city by Saudi-led warplanes. The military setback for the Shi'ite Houthis came after days of advances in Aden, the last major foothold of fighters loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, despite a week-old Saudi campaign of air strikes to halt the Houthis and bolster Hadi. Sunni Muslim power Saudi Arabia, alarmed by the Iranian-allied Houthis' march on Hadi's powerbase in Aden, launched its air campaign nine days ago along with regional backers. The intervention marks Riyadh's most assertive move yet to counter what it sees as a spread of Shi'ite Iran's power in the region, a proxy struggle also playing out in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. More »

  • Yemen Houthi crisis shows Iran has channelled spirit of Nasser
    Yemen Houthi crisis shows Iran has channelled spirit of Nasser Thu, Apr 2, 2015

    In the 1950s, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser's regional influence was rapidly spreading in the Arab world. A novel ideology inspired by an attractive blend of socialism, Arab unity, and the rise of the working class military man, the source of legitimacy of his Pan-Arabism ran glaringly counter to that of the traditionalist Arab monarchies. It was not long before Saudi Arabia was seemingly engulfed by a Pan-Arabist crescent, arcing from Egypt to Iraq and Syria in the north, and in Yemen to the kingdom's south. Iran, along with its assorted paramilitary proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, is attempting to take advantage. More »

  • Israel tests U.S.-backed missile shield as Iran nuclear talks churn Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    By Dan Williams JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new Israeli air defence system being developed in partnership with the United States met all its objectives in a series of recent live interception tests, U.S. and Israeli officials said Wednesday, putting it on course for deployment by next year. The system, David's Sling, shot down targets simulating longer-range missiles like Scuds that could be fired at Israel from Syria and by Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas. The latter coincided with international negotiations on Iran's disputed nuclear program that have drawn censure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and in turn soured his relations with U.S. President Barack Obama. Moshe Yaalon, Israel's defence minister, cited David's Sling as a mark of the continued vigour of the Israeli-U.S. alliance. More »

  • Israel expects hundreds of civilian casualties in next war with Hezbollah
    Israel expects hundreds of civilian casualties in next war with Hezbollah Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    By Dan Williams JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel could suffer hundreds of civilian dead and damage to its vital infrastructure from Hezbollah rockets if it fights another war with the Iranian-backed Lebanese guerrilla group, according to Israeli military assessments. The scenario, published by Israeli media on Wednesday, reflected concern among security planners that since the last Lebanon war, in 2006, Hezbollah has expanded its rocket arsenal and gained battle experience helping Damascus fight the insurgency in Syria. The publication of the assessments could help build a case for more investment in Israeli civil defences and in U.S.-backed rocket interceptors like Iron Dome, which has proven effective outside Gaza, and the longer-range David's Sling, which is in final testing stages. According to the military assessments, between 1,000 and 1,500 rockets could hit Israel daily in the next full-blown conflict, killing hundreds of people and potentially paralysing key installations like airports, sea ports and power stations. More »

  • Lebanese fashion designer Basil Soda dies
    Lebanese fashion designer Basil Soda dies Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Basil Soda, credited as one of Lebanon's best-known international fashion designers, has died, his company said. More »

  • Syrian army secures mountain area near Damascus - Syrian TV Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    The Syrian army has secured a mountain range near Damascus in an operation against insurgents, Syrian state television said on Tuesday, tightening control over an area important to President Bashar al-Assad after the state lost a city in the northwest. The army launched a campaign last week to reclaim the Zabadani region, 50 km northwest of Damascus. It is part of an area near the border with Lebanon where the army has often clashed with insurgents including al Qaeda's Nusra Front. "Units of the army are in full control of the western mountain range of Zabadani," state television said in a news flash quoting a military source. More »

  • Security firm says new spy software in 10 countries came from Lebanon Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A security company has discovered a computer spying campaign that it said "likely" originated with a government agency or political group in Lebanon, underscoring how far the capability for sophisticated computer espionage is spreading beyond the world’s top powers. Israeli-based computer security firm Check Point Software Technologies said its researchers ruled out any financial motive for the effort that targeted telecommunications and networking companies, military contractors, media organizations and other institutions in Lebanon, Israel, Turkey and seven other countries. Researchers also found computers infected with spyware in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.   The campaign, which Check Point dubbed Volatile Cedar, dates back at least three years and deploys hand-crafted software with some of the hallmarks of state-sponsored computer espionage. More »