January 6, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8469

Lebanese Pro-Hizbullah Daily Lists U.S. Bases In Middle East As 'Possible Targets'

January 6, 2020
Lebanon | Special Dispatch No. 8469

On January 6, 2020, the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar published threats of retaliation against the U.S. for its assassination of IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani. The daily's front page featured the headline "Great War of Liberation," which echoes statements made by Hizbullah Secretary Hassan Nasrallah in his recent speech in response to Soleimani's killing.  Beneath the headline was an image of the aftermath of the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, in which 241 Americans were killed – a thinly veiled threat that American targets in Lebanon and throughout the region will be targeted.

Al-Akhbar front page, showing the aftermath of the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing

The daily also published a map showing the location of U.S. troops in the Middle East, describing them as "possible targets."

The daily’s editor, Ibrahim Al-Amin, also published an article saying that any American presence in the region will from now on be a target of this "Great War of Liberation."[1]

Al-Akhbar Map Shows U.S. Military Bases In Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, The Gulf, Turkey, And Jordan  

Map of U.S. military bases in the Middle East published by Al-Akhbar

The Al-Akhbar map claims to show "the American military deployment in the region, with each point representing a possible target for the response to the assassination of [Qods Force commander Qassem] Soleimani and [PMF deputy-commander Abu Mahdi] Al-Muhandis." It specifies the number of U.S. soldiers in each country as well and the locations of their main bases, divided into air bases (marked in orange), naval bases (in blue), and ground forces bases (in green). Light blue markings indicate the major locations of U.S. troops in Syria.

An inset in the bottom-right corner focused on U.S. bases in the countries of the Gulf. It read:

"Kuwait: hosts the largest American military presence in the Gulf. The U.S. soldiers are concentrated in the Doha and Arifjan bases, in [Camp] Buehring and [Camp] Virginia, and in the Ali Salem and Ahmad Al-Jaber air bases.

"Bahrain: most of the soldiers are concentrated in Al-Jafir base, which contains the Salman port, and in the Sheikh 'Issa base and Al-Muharaq air base. [Bahrain also] hosts the base of the [U.S. Navy's] Fifth Fleet.

"Qatar: hosts Al-'Udaid base, which is the largest American air base outside of the U.S., and one of its most important bases in the Gulf. It houses the major Air Force headquarters, the Combined Air Operations Center, and the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing."

The map depicts troop concentrations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Oman, and Turkey. Regarding Oman, the map mentions that it "allows the U.S. to use its airports and seaports." It also shows a ship in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Oman, representing the Fifth Fleet's area of operations.

Al-Akhbar Editorial: "All American Presence In Our Countries Must Be Swept Away"

The same issue of the daily also featured an article by its chief editor, Ibrahim Al-Amin, which stated that Nasrallah's recent speech launched a battle of liberation against the U.S. presence in the region. He wrote: "[Nasrallah] has launched a battle to liberate our countries from any American military presence, no matter its form, size or character. He determined once and for all that there is no legitimacy to any American military presence in our countries, and no legitimacy to whoever legitimizes this occupation. Simply put, this means that whoever finds himself capable of carrying out his role [of fighting the U.S. presence], must do so calmly, patiently and wisely, so as to render the blow more painful and make it as deadly as possible.

"This is not everyone’s task. We are the ones who were, remain, and will end in this option. We never for a day were objective, not even seeking a cease fire or appeasement. Since we know the danger posed by the enemy with his weapons and other [means at his disposal], we know that our mission must be clear with clear titles:

"Every American presence in our countries is an oppressive presence, has the nature of occupation, and must be resisted, whether in the form of soldiers or aircraft.

"Every American presence in our countries is a presence of occupation which must be swept away, even if it is in the form of advisors, professionals, diplomats and human rights activists, expertise developers, financiers, and managers of civilian suffering associations.

"Every American presence in our countries is an oppressive occupation, even if it wears the cloak of the academic, or that of the man of thought and science, and it must be swept away as well.

"The matter is not tied to these elements only, but to all of America’s servants and followers, those who live on its crumbs. We shall deal with every receiver of American support, political, financial, or media, as though it is part of this occupation and must be resisted and defeated as well.

"We shall be clear, as we always have been, that we shall not heed to anyone. Not to a corrupt authority that must be swept away along with the occupation, here in Lebanon as well as Iraq, or any country of the region, nor will we heed any fools who fear confrontation under the pretext of the heavy cost it will bring upon the poor people of the world.

"The people around us must know that our choice and our awareness is that we are part of this beautiful, radiant resistance, in the manner of the great martyrs. [The resistance] is the only one capable of designing the future we want, in spite of all the hardship, oppression, and blood. It is war!"


[1] Al-Akhbar (Lebanon), January 6, 2020.

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