Lebanese govt fails to address fuel smuggling to Syria: MP

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The Lebanese government, made up of Hezbollah and its allies, has failed to secure the country’s border with Syria and prevent widespread smuggling.

As the anticipated US Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, passed last year, comes into effect in one week, Lebanon will come under more pressure to halt dealings with the Assad regime and those helping him circumvent any sanctions.

Fuel shortages have been reported in recent months in Syria and fuel tankers from the country have been seen lining the streets of Beirut,

A video that went viral last week showed tens of trucks with Syrian license plates parked on the side of the road near the Beirut port. The Lebanese government has yet to comment on this video, which has drawn the ire of local officials.

MP Ziad Hawat questioned the silence of the government on Wednesday.

He tweeted the video and said: “We haven’t heard from the Lebanese government any clarification for these fuel trucks which were waiting to fill subsidized fuel.”

Hawat was referring to items subsidized by Lebanon's central bank, which include fuel.

“And some accuse us of exaggerating and that smuggling is minimal,” he said.

“Why weren’t these trucks stopped? Or is the government, as usual, turning a blind eye?”

Last month, the Lebanese Army found and removed 30 meters of pipes used for smuggling fuel along the northern border with Syria.

On Wednesday, Hawat said: “Smuggling continues along the Lebanese-Syrian border and there are calls for the Lebanese Army to be given the green light to take control of the border.”

Read more:

Lebanon vows crackdown on smuggling into Syria

Lebanese Army removes smuggling pipeline at border with Syria

The Lebanese-Syrian borders and Hezbollah’s priorities

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