Druze leader: Hezbollah watches airport; warns politicians
Lebanon's Druze and
anti-Syrian leader Walid Jumblatt Thursday warned ruling majority leaders to
exercise extra caution when travelling to and from the Beirut airport, noting
reports that Iranian-backed Hezbollah was monitoring one of the runways, DPA reported.
"I have received information through security channels that Hezbollah has a surveillance point with cameras in the Ouzai district which overlooks the runway 17 at Beirut international airport where most planes land," Jumblatt said.
Jumblatt accused Hezbollah, a close ally of Syria, of preparing what he described as a "strategic operation " against leaders in the anti-Syrian ruling majority.
The Druze leader warned all majority leaders to exercise "extra caution" in the coming weeks during their travel in and outside the country.
Since 2005, several anti-Syrian politicians have been killed in the country in car bomb blasts. The anti-Syrian camp have accused Syria and its Lebanese allies of being behind the assassinations, but Damascus has vehemently denied the charges.
At least two of the anti-Syrian political leaders who were assassinated in the previous years, were killed a day after they arrived from abroad into the country through Beirut airport.
Jubran Tueini, anti-Syrian MP and also journalist, was killed a day after he arrived in the country from Paris, on December 12, 2005. Antoine Ghanem another anti-Syrian MP, was assassinated one day after he landed in Beirut airport, on September 19, 2007.
In the series of assassinations, Lebanon's one-time prime minister Rafik Hariri was killed in massive car bomb blast in 2005. Syria was widely blamed for his assassination. Since then, Lebanon has been rocked by at least sixteen assassinations.
Beirut's Shiite southern suburbs and the Ouzai district are located at the outskirts of the Beirut airport and are hotbeds of Hezbollah activity.