A Set Of Reports & Editorials Addressing The Massive Explosion That Took Place Today At Beirut Port

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‘They became ashes’: at least 70 killed in massive explosion at Beirut port
Sunniva Rose , Bassam Zaazaa , Taylor Heyman and Khaled Yacoub Oweis/The National/August 0/4/2020

Hundreds injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut Port/Jerusalem Post/Naharnet/August 04/2020

Massive explosion rocks Beirut Port causing damage to nearby buildings/Jerusalem Post/August 04/2020

Hundreds injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut Port/Jerusalem Post/Naharnet/August 04/2020

Beirut explosion shatters windows across Lebanese capital/Tamara Qiblawi and Ben Wedeman, CNN/August 04/2020

Netanyahu warns Hezbollah after Israeli strike in Syria/Associated Press/August 04/2020

Netanyahu Warns Hizbullah after Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Syria/Associated Press/Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August 04/2020

New FM Assumes Duties at Ministry/Naharnet/August 04/2020

Israel Offers Lebanon Aid after Beirut Port Blasts/Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August 04/2020

Gulf Nations Pay Tribute to Lebanon Blast Victims/Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August 04/2020

World Offers Support, Condolences to Lebanon after Devastating Blasts
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August 04/2020

Iran Airs Support for ‘Resilient’ Lebanese after Blasts/Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August 04/2020

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‘They became ashes’: at least 70 killed in massive explosion at Beirut port
Sunniva Rose , Bassam Zaazaa , Taylor Heyman and Khaled Yacoub Oweis/The National/August 0/4/2020
Thousands were wounded in the apparent accident, which sent shockwaves across the city, officials said.
A huge explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 70 people and wounding thousands in the port area of the Lebanese capital, the country’s health minister said.
The blast, felt as far away as the island of Cyprus, shattered windows and caused buildings to collapse in the area as a huge pink-hued mushroom cloud rose into the sky. “It is a disaster in every sense of the word,” Health Minister Hamad Hasan said while visiting a hospital in Beirut. Mr Hasan said nearly 4,000 people were injured in the blast.A civil defence official at the scene of the blast said his men had moved dozens of people to hospitals and that there were still bodies inside the port, many of them under debris. Mr Hasan said the blast had caused a “very high number of injuries”.The country’s Red Cross, which appealed for blood donations, said there were hundreds of casualties.
The cause of the blast has not been confirmed but officials indicated an accident involving chemicals.
Lebanon’s internal security chief, Maj Gen Abbas Ibrahim, said authorities confiscated a large amount of ammonium nitrate, which was supposed to have been destroyed months ago.
Gen Ibrahim said the chemicals caught alight, causing the huge second blast.
“It was a big explosion and then my house ceiling came down and all the windows were wrecked,” a journalist who lives in the Gemmayze area told The National.
“I fell down on the floor and had to dig myself out of the apartment.”
Supermarket manager Bahij, 47, was driving in the Karantina area of the city, close to the blast site, when he was suddenly blown from the car, causing injuries to his head and hands. “This is insane. It is the first time I’ve come across such a massive explosion. I don’t know what it is,” he said.
“I only remember myself on the pavement being carried and attended to by two bystanders.”Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab appealed for international help after the “catastrophe”.
Mr Diab said there would be a full investigation “to reveal facts regarding this dangerous warehouse that has been there since 2014″.
He said “those responsible will pay the price for what happened today”.
Mr Diab earlier met heads of the Lebanese security agencies, concerned ministries and other senior officials for an emergency discussion on dealing with the fallout from the blast.The international community was quick to express solidarity with Lebanon. France, Iran and the US all offered assistance.
Israel, which last fought a war in Lebanon with Hezbollah in 2006, offered the Lebanese government “medical humanitarian aid”, its Defence Ministry said.
A huge explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 70 people and wounding thousands in the port area of the Lebanese capital, the country’s health minister said.
The blast, felt as far away as the island of Cyprus, shattered windows and caused buildings to collapse in the area as a huge pink-hued mushroom cloud rose into the sky. “It is a disaster in every sense of the word,” Health Minister Hamad Hasan said while visiting a hospital in Beirut. Mr Hasan said nearly 4,000 people were injured in the blast. A civil defence official at the scene of the blast said his men had moved dozens of people to hospitals and that there were still bodies inside the port, many of them under debris. Mr Hasan said the blast had caused a “very high number of injuries”. The country’s Red Cross, which appealed for blood donations, said there were hundreds of casualties. The cause of the blast has not been confirmed but officials indicated an accident involving chemicals.
Lebanon’s internal security chief, Maj Gen Abbas Ibrahim, said authorities confiscated a large amount of ammonium nitrate, which was supposed to have been destroyed months ago.Gen Ibrahim said the chemicals caught alight, causing the huge second blast.“It was a big explosion and then my house ceiling came down and all the windows were wrecked,” a journalist who lives in the Gemmayze area told The National.
“I fell down on the floor and had to dig myself out of the apartment.”
Supermarket manager Bahij, 47, was driving in the Karantina area of the city, close to the blast site, when he was suddenly blown from the car, causing injuries to his head and hands. “This is insane. It is the first time I’ve come across such a massive explosion. I don’t know what it is,” he said.
“I only remember myself on the pavement being carried and attended to by two bystanders.”Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab appealed for international help after the “catastrophe”. Mr Diab said there would be a full investigation “to reveal facts regarding this dangerous warehouse that has been there since 2014″.
He said “those responsible will pay the price for what happened today”.
Mr Diab earlier met heads of the Lebanese security agencies, concerned ministries and other senior officials for an emergency discussion on dealing with the fallout from the blast. The international community was quick to express solidarity with Lebanon. France, Iran and the US all offered assistance.
Israel, which last fought a war in Lebanon with Hezbollah in 2006, offered the Lebanese government “medical humanitarian aid”, its Defence Ministry said.
Hundreds of people wandered the streets in varying states of disarray late into the evening, many clutching elderly relatives and children injured by flying glass and debris.
The chaos was heightened by a lack of information on what caused the explosion.
They were heard as far away as Nicosia on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 240 kilometres away.
“I was walking back home, me and my friend, in Hamra Street,” said Lynn Darraj, 15, a pupil at Ali Ben Abi Taleb School in Beirut.
“Suddenly, out of nowhere, we heard a very, very strong explosion and the sky became filled with pink gas.
“It became all pink and the glass was flying, and there wasn’t a single place left unshattered. “There was a man who let us inside his shop and he hid us inside. And there were children crying.”
“It was horrific. We are used to seeing this in movies, not in real life. Old people, young people, all got burnt in the explosion. They became ashes.”
The port was rebuilt and expanded after the 1990 civil war, under plans envisaged by the late Lebanese statesman, Rafik Hariri, and new cranes installed to handle the biggest container ships. But corruption has been a main impediment to the port resuming its prior role as a regional centre, businessmen said.
A huge explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 70 people and wounding thousands in the port area of the Lebanese capital, the country’s health minister said.
The blast, felt as far away as the island of Cyprus, shattered windows and caused buildings to collapse in the area as a huge pink-hued mushroom cloud rose into the sky. “It is a disaster in every sense of the word,” Health Minister Hamad Hasan said while visiting a hospital in Beirut.
Mr Hasan said nearly 4,000 people were injured in the blast.
A civil defence official at the scene of the blast said his men had moved dozens of people to hospitals and that there were still bodies inside the port, many of them under debris.
Mr Hasan said the blast had caused a “very high number of injuries”.
The country’s Red Cross, which appealed for blood donations, said there were hundreds of casualties.
The cause of the blast has not been confirmed but officials indicated an accident involving chemicals.
Lebanon’s internal security chief, Maj Gen Abbas Ibrahim, said authorities confiscated a large amount of ammonium nitrate, which was supposed to have been destroyed months ago.
Gen Ibrahim said the chemicals caught alight, causing the huge second blast.
“It was a big explosion and then my house ceiling came down and all the windows were wrecked,” a journalist who lives in the Gemmayze area told The National.
“I fell down on the floor and had to dig myself out of the apartment.”
Supermarket manager Bahij, 47, was driving in the Karantina area of the city, close to the blast site, when he was suddenly blown from the car, causing injuries to his head and hands. “This is insane. It is the first time I’ve come across such a massive explosion. I don’t know what it is,” he said.
“I only remember myself on the pavement being carried and attended to by two bystanders.”Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab appealed for international help after the “catastrophe”.
Mr Diab said there would be a full investigation “to reveal facts regarding this dangerous warehouse that has been there since 2014″.
He said “those responsible will pay the price for what happened today”.
Mr Diab earlier met heads of the Lebanese security agencies, concerned ministries and other senior officials for an emergency discussion on dealing with the fallout from the blast. The international community was quick to express solidarity with Lebanon. France, Iran and the US all offered assistance.
Israel, which last fought a war in Lebanon with Hezbollah in 2006, offered the Lebanese government “medical humanitarian aid”, its Defence Ministry said.
Hundreds of people wandered the streets in varying states of disarray late into the evening, many clutching elderly relatives and children injured by flying glass and debris.
The chaos was heightened by a lack of information on what caused the explosion.
They were heard as far away as Nicosia on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 240 kilometres away.
“I was walking back home, me and my friend, in Hamra Street,” said Lynn Darraj, 15, a pupil at Ali Ben Abi Taleb School in Beirut.
“Suddenly, out of nowhere, we heard a very, very strong explosion and the sky became filled with pink gas.
“It became all pink and the glass was flying, and there wasn’t a single place left unshattered. “There was a man who let us inside his shop and he hid us inside. And there were children crying.””It was horrific. We are used to seeing this in movies, not in real life. Old people, young people, all got burnt in the explosion. They became ashes.”
Photos of the aftermath of the explosions showed huge damage to the city’s port wheat silos, a landmark of Beirut.
The port was rebuilt and expanded after the 1990 civil war, under plans envisaged by the late Lebanese statesman, Rafik Hariri, and new cranes installed to handle the biggest container ships.
But corruption has been a main impediment to the port resuming its prior role as a regional centre, businessmen said.
A senior Red Cross official told The National that more than 300 people were taken to the American University of Beirut Medical Centre, filling it and other major hospitals in Beirut. For those less seriously injured, it was first aid kits and the kindness of others. Marie, 86, sat on the street in the Gemmayze area having her wounds tended to. She lives on the third floor of a nearby building and was standing near the window when it shattered from the force of the blast, its glass slicing her skin. “I left my flat two hours ago and took my first aid kit with me to help people,” Dr Michael Aoun, 24, said while treating Marie.

Hundreds injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut Port
Jerusalem Post/Naharnet/August 04/2020
Multiple videos show plume of smoke rising from coastline and then a large blast and shockwave. IDF remains on high alert in the North. A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday and a tall plume of smoke could be seen from a distance. The explosion took place at a warehouse at the Beirut Port. Ambulances transported hundreds of injured people to local hospitals and dozens are feared to have been killed in the incident. Multiple videos from the area showed a plume of smoke rising from near the coastline and then a large blast and shockwave. Buildings throughout the area were damaged in the blast, including media offices and Lebanon’s electrical company. Multiple videos show plume of smoke rising from coastline and then a large blast and shockwave. IDF remains on high alert in the North.
Video and pictures from the scene showed windows blown out and debris strewn in buildings and streets throughout Lebanon’s capital. Some buildings in the area collapsed and emergency forces rushed to rescue those trapped in the rubble. Electrical outages were reported throughout the capital hampering search and rescue efforts. “I saw a fireball and smoke billowing over Beirut. People were screaming and running, bleeding. Balconies were blown off buildings. Glass in high-rise buildings shattered and fell to the street,” said a Reuters witness.
At least 17 people are dead and over 800 are wounded, a Red Cross source told the Independent Arab. The Secretary-General of the Kataeb Party was killed in the incident, according to Al-Hadath.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun called the Supreme Council of Defense for an emergency meeting on Tuesday evening. Ambulances were called in from around the country and the Lebanese Army sent reinforcements to the area. Some 30 Red Cross teams are operating in the area. Lebanese citizens were asked to donate blood if possible and doctors were asked to come immediately and help treat the wounded.
Hospitals in the capital ran out of room and began treating wounded people in hallways and transferring other wounded people outside of Beirut. Injuries, damage and deaths were reported on streets and in buildings throughout Beirut. The source of the explosion is unclear. Initial reports indicated that the fire occurred in a warehouse storing fireworks and video from the scene appeared to show fireworks igniting shortly before the blast. Additional reports claim that a nearby warehouse was storing explosive chemicals that had been confiscated at the port. Lebanon’s General Security director told Al-Hadath that reports that the explosion was caused by fireworks were “ridiculous” and that the explosion involved high-quality explosives. The Interior Ministry stated that the explosive being stored at the warehouse was ammonium nitrate and that customs should be asked why it was being stored there. An odd smell was noticed in the area after the explosion, according to Al-Mayadeen.
Lebanese officials stressed that the cause of the explosion is still unknown and is under investigation. Sources from Hezbollah told OTV Lebanon that there was “no truth” to reports that the explosion was caused by an Israeli strike on Hezbollah weapons at the port. Israeli defense officials denied that Israel had any connection to the incident. Hezbollah operatives were seen at the port after the explosion, according to Al-Arabiya. Al-Arabiya reported that the explosion occurred at a weapons depot belonging to Hezbollah. Fighter jets were spotted over Tel Aviv after the explosion, according to Channel 12 news. The IDF has been on high alert in the North ever since Hezbollah operatives tried crossing into Israel last week. Late Monday night, the IDF struck multiple targets throughout Syria in response to an attempt by a terror cell in Syria to plant an explosive device along the border fence with Israel.
The Trump administration is closely tracking the deadly explosion in Beirut, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told a news briefing on Tuesday, but she offered no details about the causes of the blast. The European Union, United States, Cyprus and a number of other countries offered support after the disaster. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced a national day of mourning on Wednesday for the victims of the explosion. A significant internet outage was reported in Lebanon following reports of the explosion, according to internet watchdog NetBlocks. It is unclear what caused the outage. The former home of the late Lebanese president Rafik Hariri, who was killed 15 years ago in an alleged Hezbollah-Iranian attack, is located near where the explosion took place. His son, former prime minister Saad Hariri, was in offices near the site, but was not injured in the incident, according to LBCI. A number of members of Hezbollah are being tried in absentia at the Hague for planning and arranging the attack in which a truck carrying 3,000 kg of high-grade explosives was blown up next to Hariri’s motorcade, killing him and 21 others. A verdict is expected to be issued by the court on Friday.
*Reuters contributed to this report.

Massive explosion rocks Beirut Port causing damage to nearby buildings
Jerusalem Post/August 04/2020
Multiple videos show plume of smoke rising from coastline and then a large blast and shockwave. IDF remains on high alert in the North. A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday and a tall plume of smoke could be seen from a distance. The explosion took place at the Beirut Port. According to Lebanese media, ambulances were transporting dozens of injured people to local hospitals.Multiple videos from the area showed a plume of smoke rising from near the coastline and then a large blast and shockwave. Nearby buildings were damaged in the blast. The Daily Star newspaper, for example, released a video from its offices showing extensive damage. The source of the explosion was unclear. LBCI Lebanon News claimed that a fire had broken out at the port and then triggered an explosion of a nearby warehouse storing fireworks. According to the Daily Star, two explosions were reported, one at the port and another near the former home of the late Lebanese president Rafik Hariri, who was killed 15 years ago in a Hezbollah-Iranian attack. Video and pictures from the scene showed windows blown out and debris strewn in shops and offices in the Hamra neighborhood of Beirut. The IDF has been on high alert in the North ever since Hezbollah operatives tried crossing into Israel last week. Late Monday night, the IDF struck multiple targets throughout Syria in response to an attempt by a terror cell in Syria to plant an explosive device along the border fence with Israel.

Beirut explosion shatters windows across Lebanese capital
By Tamara Qiblawi and Ben Wedeman, CNN
Beirut, Lebanon (CNN)/August 04/2020
A large explosion ripped through the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, injuring people and smashing windows in buildings across the city.
The source of the explosion was a major fire at a warehouse for firecrackers near the port in Beirut, the state-run National News Agency reported. Local news reported large numbers of wounded people.
Many buildings were damaged by the explosion, including the headquarters of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and CNN’s bureau in the city. A red cloud hung over Beirut in the wake of the blast as firefighting teams rushed to the scene to try to put out the fire.Homes as far as 10 kilometers away were damaged, according to witnesses, and local media video showed cars destroyed and flipped over. One Beirut resident who was several kilometers away from the site of the blast said her windows had been shattered by the explosion. “What I felt was that it was an earthquake,” Rania Masri told CNN. “The apartment shook horizontally and all of a sudden it felt like an explosion and the windows and doors burst open. The glass just broke. So many homes were damaged or destroyed.” This is a breaking story, more to follow.

Netanyahu warns Hezbollah after Israeli strike in Syria
Associated Press/August 04/2020
Netanyahu, who toured a military base on Tuesday, said Israel would not hesitate to take further action.
JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group and others after Israeli forces said they thwarted an infiltration attempt from Syria by suspected militants. The Israeli military announced late Monday that it had struck targets in Syria after the militants tried to plant explosives in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Israel struck the four suspects, who were believed to have been killed. Netanyahu, who toured a military base on Tuesday, said Israel would not hesitate to take further action. “We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. We will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves. I suggest to all of them, including Hezbollah, to consider this,” he said.

Netanyahu Warns Hizbullah after Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Syria
Associated Press/Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August 04/2020
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned Hizbullah and others after Israeli forces said they thwarted an infiltration attempt from Syria by suspected militants. The Israeli military announced late Monday that it had struck targets in Syria after the militants tried to plant explosives in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Israel struck the four suspects, who were believed to have been killed. Syrian state-run news agency SANA said Israeli helicopters rocketed Syrian army positions near Quneitra in the south but caused only material damage. It also said air defenses had gone into action near the Syrian capital. Netanyahu, who toured a military base on Tuesday, said Israel would not hesitate to take further action. “We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. We will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves. I suggest to all of them, including Hizbullah, to consider this,” he said. “These are not vain words; they have the weight of the State of Israel and the (military) behind them and this should be taken seriously,” the veteran premier added. Several Israeli media outlets reported that Monday’s actions were in response to an increased threat from Iran-backed Hizbullah, which has a significant presence in Syria.
The incidents come amid heightened tension on Israel’s northern frontier following a recent Israeli airstrike that killed a Hizbullah fighter in Syria and anticipation that the Iran-backed Lebanese group would retaliate.
Following the airstrike, the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights was hit by explosives fired from Syria and Israel responded by attacking Syrian military positions and beefing up its forces in the area. Last week, Israel also said it thwarted an infiltration attempt from Lebanon by Hizbullah militants, after which it reported a clash and bombed Lebanese border areas, in one of the heaviest flare-ups along the volatile Israel-Lebanon frontier since a 2006 war between the bitter enemies. Hizbullah denied involvement in those incidents but said that its retaliation to the killing of one of its fighters “will certainly come.”Israel considers Hizbullah to be its most immediate threat. Since battling Israel to a stalemate during a monthlong war in 2006, Hizbullah has gained more battlefield experience fighting alongside the Syrian government in that country’s bloody civil war.

New FM Assumes Duties at Ministry
Naharnet/August 04/2020
Newly-appointed Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe assumed his duties on Tuesday, which he was duly handed over by his predecessor Nasif Hitti who stepped down from office on Monday. At the Foreign Ministry, Wehbe vowed that his ministry would work on the government’s plan to return Syrian refugees back to their homeland. He also highlighted commitment to rejecting the resettlement of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, as well as to securing their repatriation. Moreover, Wehbe stressed on Lebanon’s commitment to the implementation of UN resolution 1701, condemning the Israeli violations of the Lebanese sovereignty.


Israel Offers Lebanon Aid after Beirut Port Blasts/Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August 04/2020
Israel on Tuesday offered humanitarian aid to Lebanon, with which it is still technically at war, following the huge explosions that rocked Beirut, killing dozens of people and wounding thousands. “Following the explosion in Beirut, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, on behalf of the State of Israel, have offered the Lebanese government — via international intermediaries — medical and humanitarian aid, as well as immediate emergency assistance,” said a joint statement from the two ministries. The offer comes after two weeks of heightened tensions between the rival neighbors. Last week, Israel accused Lebanon’s Hizbullah of trying to send gunmen across the U.N.-demarcated Blue Line and said it held the Lebanese government responsible for what it termed an attempted “terrorist” attack. Hizbullah and Israel last fought a 33-day war in the summer of 2006. General chief Abbas Ibrahim said Tuesday’s blast may have been caused by explosive materials confiscated years ago and stored at the city’s port.

Gulf Nations Pay Tribute to Lebanon Blast Victims/Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August 04/2020
Countries in the Gulf paid tribute to victims of the two powerful blasts that rocked Beirut Tuesday as Qatar said it would send field hospitals to support Lebanon’s medical response. Qatar’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani called President Michel Aoun to offer condolences, according to the state-run Qatar News Agency. Sheikh Tamim wished “a speedy recovery for the injured,” QNA reported, adding that he “expressed Qatar’s solidarity with brotherly Lebanon and its willingness to provide all kinds of assistance.”Field hospitals would be dispatched, the report added. Elsewhere in the Gulf, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted that “our hearts are with Beirut and its people.”He posted the tribute alongside an image of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, illuminated in the colors of the Lebanese flag. “Our prayers during these difficult hours are that God… protects brotherly Lebanon and the Lebanese to reduce their affliction and heal their wounds,” he wrote. Gulf countries including Qatar and the UAE maintain close ties with Beirut and have long provided financial aid and diplomatic assistance to mediate Lebanon’s political and sectarian divisions. Bahrain’s foreign ministry urged its nationals in Lebanon to contact the ministry’s operations center or Manama’s representative in Beirut, while Kuwait ordered its citizens to take extreme caution and stay indoors. It also asked those in need of assistance to contact their embassy.

World Offers Support, Condolences to Lebanon after Devastating Blasts
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August 04/2020
Close allies and traditional adversaries of Lebanon paid tribute on Tuesday to the victims of massive and deadly twin blasts in Beirut, as condolences and offers of help poured in. Prime Minister Hassan Diab called on “friendly countries” to support the country already reeling from its worst economic crisis in decades as well as the coronavirus pandemic. Gulf nations were among the first to react, with Qatar promising to send field hospitals to support the medical response. Qatar’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani wished “a speedy recovery for the injured,” while the United Arab Emirates’ Vice President and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, tweeted “our condolences to our beloved people in Lebanon.”Kuwait said it would also send emergency medical aid. Egypt expressed “deep concern” at the destruction, and Arab League chief Ahmed Aboulgheit offered condolences, stressing “the importance of finding the truth about the explosions”. Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Amman was ready to provide any help Lebanon needed, while Iran said it was “fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary”. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the great and resilient people of Lebanon,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.
“Stay strong, Lebanon.”
Neighboring Israel also offered humanitarian aid to Lebanon, with which it is still technically at war. “Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, on behalf of the State of Israel, have offered the Lebanese government — via international intermediaries — medical and humanitarian aid, as well as immediate emergency assistance,” a statement read. Outside the region, President Vladimir Putin said that “Russia shares the grief of the Lebanese people,” according to a Kremlin statement. “I ask you to convey words of sympathy and support to the families and friends of the victims, as well as wishes for a speedy recovery to all affected.”Washington said it too would help. “We extend our deepest condolences to all those affected, and stand ready to offer all possible assistance,” a State Department spokesperson said. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the country was “ready to provide assistance according to the needs expressed by the Lebanese authorities”.

Iran Airs Support for ‘Resilient’ Lebanese after Blasts/Agence France Presse/Naharnet/August 04/2020
Iran’s top diplomat expressed Tehran’s support for the “resilient” people of Lebanon after Beirut was rocked by devastating explosions on Tuesday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the great and resilient people of Lebanon,” Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. “As always, Iran is fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary,” he said.”Stay strong, Lebanon,” added the Iranian foreign minister. At least 50 people were killed and 2,750 injured, according to “preliminary estimates” announced by Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan. The explosions hit Beirut’s port, flattening buildings in the vicinity and sending out shockwaves for kilometers. The cause was not immediately known.