Lebanese Christian Leader Reportedly Kidnapped and Murdered

At approximately 0300 EST this morning, Lebanese Forces Party coordinator Pascal Sleiman was reported kidnapped. Local media outlet Al Madad reported that multiple Syrian nationals were arrested and authorities were working to ascertain his location. Initial reports speculated that he was alive and unharmed, but in custody of unnamed kidnappers.

Claims of Lebanese Army Involvement

However, by 0500 EST, the narrative took a dramatic turn as local news began claiming that the Lebanese military had abducted Sleiman in an intelligence operation. Lebanese Strong Republic Bloc member Ayoub told El Nashra that the Lebanese Army took Sleiman to a site in Syria. Lebanese Forces MP Hawat also told press that the people were being confronted with fear and intimidation tactics through the abduction, a slightly veiled accusation against the Lebanese Army. Protests quickly took form to block the Jbeil Highway.

Lebanese Army Announces the Death

By 0400 EST, the situation seemed hopeful when local media began circulating rumors that Sleiman had been released by the Lebanese Army. However, by 1400 EST, the Lebanese Army announced that a gang of Syrians had killed Sleiman while attempting to steal his car near Byblos, Lebanon. The thieves then reportedly took his body and car into Syria. The Army also announced it had arrested an additional three Syrians, bringing the total arrested to seven.

As of this publication, the Lebanese Forces Party is urging people to stay calm as the investigation continues. However, the party does consider this to be a “political assassination until proven otherwise.”

This comes less than a year after former LF coordinator in Bint Jbeil, Elias Hasrouni, was found dead after an apparent crash on August 6th, 2023, but an autopsy later revealed that he was killed and many believed the murder was politically motivated.

The Lebanese Forces is a Lebanese Christian-based political party and former militia during the Lebanese Civil War. It currently holds 19 of the 128 seats in Lebanon’s parliament and is therefore the largest party in parliament. The Lebanese Forces Party is a right-wing Christian ideological group with more than 50,000 members.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

MORE FROM ATLAS NEWS

North Korea Jams GPS Signals Near Sea Border Amid Rising Tensions

North Korea has jammed GPS signals near the inter-Korean maritime border for the second consecutive day, intensifying regional tensions. The move follows the DPRK's threats of military action if...

A Look Into Venezuela’s Upcoming Presidential Election

The Venezuelan government is organizing the first presidential election in the country since 2018, following negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the United States during which the US promised...