Protests and riots in Iraq and Lebanon are continuing and intensifying .

In Lebanon, large groups of young Hezbollah supporters, armed with clubs and crow bars confronted many protesters who had blocked the main road connecting East and West Beirut. Due to the severe clashes that developed there, the Lebanese army was called in to separate the sides who continued to throw stones at each other.

The city of Tripoli continues to be blocked, affecting most of the roads in and outside the city today. The authorities are trying to reopen the banks, educational institutions, shops, and government buildings, most of which have been closed for days.

In the town of Sidon, regular transportation services have resumed but educational institutions remain closed. Lebanon as a whole is scheduled to be on a general strike today which could worsen the situation even more, as Hezbollah supporters try to stand up to the tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets across the country.

In Iraq, the situation has deteriorated even further and it is taking another step toward a civil war after yesterday at least 25 people were killed in riots in the southern cities. The security forces opened fire in many cases on the protestersand many hundreds were injured.

Because of the fear of the situation getting out of control, the authorities ordered the police to withdraw from certain areas in the south. Many protesters were killed and wounded in severe riots in the central southern city of Narrow, and the road to the Umm-Qasar port was partially re-opened, following a prolonged siege that had paralyzed Iraq’s central coast.

Most of the people in the city are Shi’a Moslems and in the past there has been strong support for the Shi’ites in Iran, but in recent years and against the backdrop of Iran’s economic activity in Iraq and the Iranian militias’ takeover of civilian lives, the city is becoming more and more a focus of resistance.

With G-d’s benevolence

Recall that even in the different prophecies of salvation, the city of Basra is mentioned as facing troubled times and the Rebbe quoted these prophecies during the Gulf War. The Second Gulf War (2004) began with a land invasion in this city.

In Iran, the riots do not seem to have subsided. As of now, at least 5,000 people have been arrested (and their numbers may reach 10,000), thousands injured, and some 300 are estimated to have died. With the partial return of Internet services, horrific images of brutal repression, live fire from machine guns and helicopters, deployment of tanks, kidnappings snipers shooting from the rooftops are surfacing as just some of the cruel means of repression.

Currently, the protests have not subsided, but the protesters seem to be taking advantage of the (partial) return of the Internet to publish what they have been through in recent days, as well as to plan and prepare together for the future.

The astonishing situation in the above countries – where the masses are turning against Iran and its advocates – is a visible miracle in favor of Israel at this time, when there is hostility with Iran. The harsh situation of the Iranian regime and the economic sanctions it is under are making life even more difficult. Let’s hope to see the regime collapse soon!

Avishay Ifargon – an expert in military and security affairs, rosh Yeshivat Chabad Darchey Tmimim