BEIRUT, Lebanon — Iranian ally Hezbollah moved to the brink of controlling Lebanon's next government on Monday, setting off angry protests and drawing warnings from the United States that its support could be in jeopardy.
Nearly two weeks after bringing down Lebanon's Western-backed government, the Shiite militant group — considered a terrorist organization by Washington — secured support in Parliament to name its own candidate for the next prime minister. The feat caps Hezbollah's steady rise over decades from a resistance force against Israel to Lebanon's most powerful military and political power.
Protests erupted quickly in areas populated by Hezbollah's Sunni rivals, who declared a "day of rage" today .
Hezbollah's candidate, billionaire businessman Najib Mikati, was set to clinch the nomination after Hezbollah and its allies lined up the needed backing of at least 65 of the 128 Parliament members as voting began Monday.