Beirut 5 Aug 2020 – Who caused homes to be destroyed and loss of life in a city already reeling from economic collapse, Covid19 and a war on its doorstep in Syria?
The economic collapse was caused by the rich taking all their US dollars (Lebanon’s de facto 2nd currency) out of the country. Not since 2006 when Israel was bombing Beirut was there so much destruction and loss of life. People are fearful. Their lives, once again, turned upside down. Military conflict (if that is what caused the blast) during a pandemic is madness. It has to stop! NGOs already stretched to the limit now have yet another burden. It is hard to make any sense of it.
It appears to be a massive ‘industrial accident‘ caused by ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at the port of Beirut. This disaster was waiting to happen with a corrupt government with poor controls for dangerous chemicals. Lebanon is not alone in this. Israel has dangerous storage of chemicals and nuclear materials near big towns. See Reports below.
Here are the first reports of the blast that caused scores of deaths and thousands injured across the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Early reports say that it is either an industrial accident or a targeted attack by Israel on chemical munitions held at the port. Hezbollah drove Israel out of Lebanon after a 30 year occupation. The 2006 Lebanon War was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon where 1,191–1,300 Lebanese citizens and 165 Israelis including soldiers were killed. Israeli military forces on the ground fled. Airstrikes by Israel in the region are commonplace to this day.
Thanks to WBT correspondent Ray Bergman for his input
5 August 2020
Report from Ray Bergman:
While being an industrial accident, one cannot ignore the political,
social and military situation either.
More than half of the people in Lebanon live below the poverty line after a Ponzi scheme run by the Central Bank crashed the Lebanese currency and economy. Government and business corruption, warfare and Coronavirus epidemic have made the country ungovernable, so there are bound to be serious breaches of regulations, failures in reporting of dangerous substances, etc. And given the violence in the region over many years, there are bound to be all sorts of dangerous things stored everywhere without
This is a recipe for continuing disasters! (And one can’t totally discount the possibilities of assassination and other political things – next Friday a UN backed international tribunal will deliver its verdict over four men related to Hezbollah who are accused of planting the truck bomb that murdered the former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri some 15 years ago. But the incident might be totally unrelated to that.
Wikipedia has added this disaster to its timeline of major disasters
caused by self-sustaining decomposition, or SSD, of Ammonium nitrate
NPK fertilizers which has also been responsible for the loss of
several cargo ships. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_nitrate_disasters
Meanwhile in Teheran:
A huge fire broke out in the industrial city of Jagrod Bardis inTehran, as fire broke out at a power plant in Samnan province, east ofthe capital.
This comes in a series of mysterious events in Iran, which arerepresented by forest fires, power plants, military and nuclearinstallations for about a month and a half, while Tehran has notaccused any specific country of being responsible for it. See https://arabic.rt.com/features/1141079-إيران-الحرائق-تطال-مواقع-عسكرية-ونووية/?fbclid=IwAR3CNYrXGJPKk5STL2V1h78xaDWueuKwTuHoFT1w0egfmOo8YJdibGHJNKE
And in Syria
In the first week of August 2020, Israeli helicopters have attacked Syrian army positions near Quneitra in the south (near Golan Heights) but caused only material damage. Syrian government media outlet Sana also said ‘air defences had gone into action near the Syrian capital’. Since 2011, Israel has launched hundreds of attacks in Syria, targeting government troops and allied Iranian and Hezbollah forces” – Source: Reuters
Here is a report is from Al Manar which is the media arm of Hezbollah. I have found it impossible to access the Al Manar TV station. The almanr.com.lb report is translated from the arabic (using google, apologies to arabic speakers).
“A loud explosion erupted over all the voices, and a painful accident exceeded all the pain the country was experiencing.
A highly flammable substance that ignited fear in the hearts of the Lebanese people, and shook the country from one extreme to the other … and a bang that brought to mind all the ugliness of the Zionist aggression against Lebanon in these days.
The wounded are spreading the land, victims whose bodies have mixed with the crumbs of the buildings and the remains of the tanks and wards of the Beirut port, and blood flowing to mix with the sea that rose, directed at the height of the explosive wave that covered the country.
In the first data, there was a fire in Amber No. 12 where containers were crackers, so the fire spread to nitrate containers, causing a huge explosion that destroyed the port and damaged the buildings in Beirut and its suburbs, while the sound of the explosion was heard throughout Lebanon.
Throughout history, the voices of dissonance and dancers on the blood in Lebanon, and moving about the investment between all the dust of events. A new fall for some who is not related to media honor, the rise of innocent victims as a result of the accident, and the hospitalization of the injured and injured.” – See https://almanar.com.lb/7045436