VIDEO: Asaib Ahl al-Haq chief appears at Lebanon-Israel border, Hariri for probe
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's office called on Saturday for an inquiry into the appearance of an Iraqi militia commander on a tour of Lebanese border areas.
Earlier, Qais al-Khazaali, leader of Iraq’s Iranian-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, had appeared in a video circulating late Friday showing him at Lebanon’s borders with Israel.
Several Lebanese journalists and political commentators have been sharing the video, expressing their surprise at Khazaali’s appearance.
تطور لافت في توقيت حساس عند الحدود اللبنانية الجنوبية مع اسرائيل... ظهور قيس الخزعلي زعيم عصائب اهل الحق التابعة للحشد الشعبي العراقي المدعوم من ايران، يقوم بجولة استطلاعية..!!! الشيخ قيس الخزعلي يتجول في حدود لبنانية مع فلسطين https://t.co/QGqQx32G07 via @YouTube— Rima Assaf (@RimaLBCI) December 8, 2017
He is seen in military garb in southern Lebanon, boasting that he and his militia are ready to support “resistance fighters,” in reference to Hezbollah, which is also backed by Iran.
He said: “We here with Hezbollah declare our total readiness to stand together with the Lebanese people and the Palestinian cause against Israeli occupation.”
Many Lebanese commentators saw this announcement, though not the first of its kind, as bypassing the state and particularly concerning following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel earlier this week.
South Lebanon complies with UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for a ceasefire in 2006 following the Israel-Lebanon war in July of that year.