Can Lebanon Region Be Calmed? Will Hariri's Assassination Cause Further Destabilization? There May Be Ways to Avoid Disaster

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Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU)

In this article, Fawaz Gerges discusses how the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has significantly heightened tensions in Lebanon, threatening its fragile peace. Hariri, a critic of Syria's influence in Lebanon, was killed in a bomb attack that many suspect involved Syrian or pro-Syrian elements, though concrete evidence is lacking. This event has intensified international pressure on Syria to withdraw its 14,000 troops from Lebanon. To prevent further destabilization, the international community must engage Syria diplomatically and ensure Lebanon does not become a hostile environment for Syrian interests. The key challenge is integrating Hezbollah into Lebanon's political framework while addressing the broader Arab-Israeli conflict and instability in Iraq. Without comprehensive diplomatic efforts involving Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah, lasting peace in the region remains elusive.

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