Hours after a car bomb was detonated in a Hezbollah stronghold in a suburb of Beirut Tuesday, an al-Qaida affiliate claimed credit.
The attack, which The Wall Street Journal reports killed four and wounded over 20, was aimed at the Islamist, Iranian-backed militia/political party that has proved a thorn in Israel’s side, has become a powerhouse in Lebanon and, more recently, a useful ally for Iran, helping to turn the tide against other Islamists groups rebelling against dictator Bashir al-Assad in neighboring Syria. Assad is allied with Iran.
“We were able to respond to the massacres committed by Iran’s party [Hezbollah] against the children of Syria and of Arsal [in northeast Lebanon] with a suicide operation that targeted the heart of its southern suburbs,” the Twitter account for al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant read, the Daily Star reports. Al-Nusrah is a local affiliate of al-Qaida.
The suicide-car attack occurred “just meters from the site of an explosion earlier in the month in the suburb that was claimed by the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria,” the Daily Star report continues.
The Long War Journal reports that this is the “fourth major suicide attack and car bombing in Lebanon carried out by al-Qaida-affiliated groups against Iran and Hezbollah since mid-November 2013,” including a Nov. 23 attack on the Iranian embassy that killed 23 people, including Iran’s cultural attache to Lebanon.