Lebanese society and Christian community endangered by Hezbollah and regional actors

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The head of a leading Christian advocacy group has urgently called for political reform that would protect Lebanese society – and its Christian community – from power-hungry actors like the leaders of , , and , Real Clear (RCR) reports.

Writing for RCR, president of In Defense of Christians Toufic Baaklini reports that, in addition to struggling under the stranglehold of the Lebanese Iran-backed militant group, Lebanon is falling prey to other regional nefarious powers as well.

Outlining the grievous situation Lebanon faces, Baaklini notes that: “Serial political arsonist Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, president of Turkey, has also fixed his eyes on Lebanon in pursuit of achieving his Neo-Ottoman, expansionist vision. Turkey is currently smuggling weapons into Lebanon through its northern border with Syria, which carries the potential to further destabilize the country.” In addition, Baaklini says, “Erdogan aims to forge an aggressive Islamist sphere of influence amongst Lebanon’s community in the north, to counterbalance Hezbollah’s dominance amongst the Shi’a community in the Beqaa Valley and the south, through a similar model.”

Moreover, Baaklini says, instability is increased as Turkey seeks increased influence with the Lebanese Sunni community, whose traditional patrons have been Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. On top of all this, Baaklini notes: “ and are both looking to increase their influence in Lebanon as they have already done in Syria.”

In his assertion that Lebanon is in desperate need of outside help, Baaklini says: “The West, the , in particular, has a vital role to play here…This is as much about will and engagement as it is about financing.”

“The essential objective is to reverse the past 15 years of Hezbollah’s hegemony over the Lebanese political system,” Baaklini says.

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