The Los Angeles Times reports:
The U.S.-backed parliamentary coalition led by caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri was on the verge of losing its tenuous grip on the Lebanese government after a key politician defected Friday to support the Shiite militant group Hezbollah.
The decision by Walid Jumblatt, a Druze chieftain and longtime player amid Lebanon’s fractious parties, to back Hezbollah, which is supported by Syria, highlighted the dangerous regional maneuverings across the troubled Lebanese political scene. The move was a blow to Washington, which had worked with Hariri until his 14-month-old unity government collapsed this month.
“The party will stand firm in support of Syria and the resistance,” Jumblatt, head of the Progressive Socialist Party, said at a news conference in Beirut. He did not, however, reveal how many of the 11 members of parliament with his party would side with him. But Jumblatt’s support is crucial for any party jockeying to form a government.