This morning Beirut, Lebanon has devolved into heavy gunfire as Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah said of statements against Hezbollah's telecommunications network, "the decision is tantamount to a declaration of war. . . on the resistance and its weapons in the interest of America and Israel." Almost immediately following the statement, the city of Beirut erupted into gun battle and the use of rocket-propelled grenades.
The US-backed government in Lebanon said on Tuesday that the military telecommunications network was illegal and a threat to state security. The subsequent violence appears mostly sectarian which brings up echoes of the 1975-1990 civil war that ravaged Lebanon.
Most Sunnis are supporting the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora. Shiites generally support the opposition led by Hezbollah, a group labeled by the US as a terrorist organization. Christians are split between the two. Flights in and out have been canceled, trapping many in the chaos.
Tensions began two days ago with a strike and has escalated into violence rapidly.