On Aug. 1, the U.S.-trained Lebanese Army opened fire on an Israel Army
patrol along the border town of Rajar. The Israelis returned fire and a
Lebanese soldier was injured in the second such incident in a year. The
United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon determined that the Israelis had not
crossed in Lebanon.
The sources, who include opposition parliamentarians, said neither
Mikati, President Michel Suleiman nor Chief of Staff Gen. Jean Kahwaji has
control over much of the military. They said Hizbullah now dominates all
military forces along the border regions with Israel and Syria.
"The Israeli enemy tried again to revert back to attacks and
provocations in the Wazani region, but you stood guard," Suleiman, a former
chief of staff, told Lebanese soldiers.
Kahwaji was also said to have lost control over Sunni areas of Lebanon.
The sources pointed to the lack of communications and coordination in wake
of the latest bombing of a UNIFIL convoy near Sidon on
July 26. Five French officers were wounded in the attack, with the Lebanese
authorities unable to make arrests or identify the suspected bombers.
"The culprits for this attack and the previous attack on the Italians on
May 27 must be found and detained and tried," UN Special Coordinator for
Lebanon, Michael Williams, said on Aug. 2.
The sources said they expect attacks on Israel and UNIFIL to increase
over the next few weeks. They said the decline of the regime of Syrian
President Bashar Assad has left a power vacuum filled by Iran and Hizbullah.
"It [Hizbullah] is exercising hegemony over the state's strategic
decisions," Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said. "Hizbullah is not even
let its allies take part in these decisions."