President Trump along with officials at the Pentagon are calling this an attack.
Primer: Tensions in Lebanon are high for a number of reasons, one being that Hezbollah faces a United Nations tribunal verdict on Friday in relation to the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. The head of Lebanon’s domestic security service has ridiculed the notion that fireworks were involved. He told reporters that the incident is a result of highly explosive materials being stored in a port warehouse. Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim refused to give further comment pending the outcome of the investigation. It should be noted here that while Ibrahim has good links to Western intelligence and counterterrorism units, his central interest rests in maintaining Lebanese political stability in avoidance of another civil war.