- the Lebanon-based Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP)
On the way home from Hezbollah’s Million Mom march, I noticed a group of protesters holding flags, heading downtown. My usual routine was to walk alongside these flag-carrying groups, visibly take a few pictures, see if anyone had anything to say.
I didn’t do that when I saw this group. Something about their manner, their ominous-looking flag, and especially the way people leaning out of their balconies were looking at them told me to stay away. I quietly took a few pictures using my zoom lens, from a distance.
That was probably a good idea. These Hezbollah/Syria supporters were members of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, a fascist group allied with Syrian Baathists. Car bombing, assassination and basic rabid “resistance” is their specialty.
Fortunately, the Lebanese government appears to be cracking down on this loathesome group. *
BEIRUT: Lebanese security forces arrested seven members of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) on Thursday after confiscating large quantities of explosives, detonators and timers during raids on the members’ homes in North Lebanon. Party leader Ali Qanso responded within hours of the Internal Security Forces raids on his home, saying that although the party did indeed own the stash of weapons, the raid was unjustified and that the party was being “targeted” for its pro-Syrian stance.
Speaking during a news conference at the party’s office in Ras Beirut, which was heavily surrounded by police at every street intersection, Qanso admitted the party had weapons that it had kept “just in case” since the early 1980s when it took part in fighting Israeli forces in South Lebanon.
“We are innocent,” he added, “so stop your campaigns against us. We are not a militia and we are not a party of murderers. We are a resistance force.”..
…The SSNP is allied with the Hizbullah-led opposition forces that have been staging an open-ended demonstration in the heart of Beirut in a bid to force the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to resign.
Qanso also rejected what he called “rumors” that the SSNP had played a role in the assassination of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel, who was shot dead in his car in a Beirut suburb on November 21.
Just hours after Gemayel’s death, a mob of his supporters attacked an office of the SSNP…
..”We don’t want any clashes with anyone or the security, but we are only human, and can only withstand so much and have a right to defend ourselves if anyone invades our homes,” he said.
Asked about the seized explosives, he said, “we are a resistance force, and we use different methods of resisting, among which is using explosives.”
* Link thanks to Michael Totten