icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Renewed Lebanese clashes violate ceasefire, kill 12

Renewed Lebanese clashes violate ceasefire, kill 12
Clashes have erupted in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in defiance of a ceasefire, bringing the death toll to 12. Skirmishes between pro- and anti-Damascus fighters in Tripoli have heightened fears the Syrian conflict will engulf its neighbor.

Renewed violence flared between rival Sunni and Alawite Islamist groups in the city following the introduction of a ceasefire at 14:00 GMT on Wednesday.Embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is part of the minority Alawite sect, while Syrian opposition forces are largely made up of Sunni Muslims disgruntled at minority rule.Tripoli has been the center of unrest since street fighting erupted on Monday, injuring over 100 people. Tuesday was the bloodiest day with six people killed in the crossfire from street gun battles.Local officials have called for calm in the city agreeing on a ceasefire on Wednesday in an effort to restore stability.The city has suffered most from the fallout of the conflict in neighboring Syria as sectarian tensions run deep in a region that was occupied by Syria for almost three decades.“In order to prevent attempts to drag the whole of Lebanon into a state of unrest … the army command announces it will enter into dialogue with the city’s leaders and officials,” said a representative from the Lebanese army. The UN has voiced worries over the increasingly “precarious” situation in the country and emphasized the “need for continued international support to the government and the Lebanese Armed Forces.”Tensions have risen in Lebanon following a bout of tit-for-tat kidnappings that saw a Lebanese Shiite clan abduct more than 20 Syrians in retaliation for a family member held by the Free Syria Army in Damascus.

Country on the edge

Political analyst and international lawyer Dr Franklin Lamb said that fears of the Syrian conflict spilling over into neighboring Lebanon were justified.“People are saying not since the [Lebanese] civil war have things been so likely to ignite nor have people felt so  insecure,” he told RT.He went on to say that the problem was not so much the “spillover” of violence from neighboring Syria, but the fact that “Lebanon itself is so fragile and not really a state in terms of not having a real central government that can enforce their laws.”“There’s no question that this has become the most magnetic theater in recent history and it’s Syria. From the east, west, north and south so-called Salafists and wannabe jihadists are making their way there,” said Lamb. He cited Lebanon’s weak border control and lack of strong central government as the main cause of the transit of militants across its territory.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.