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Syria Violence Spreads to Lebanon

Pro- and anti-Assad forces are engaged in a bitter fight not only within Syria, but outside it too, and Lebanon, not surprisingly, is once again a proxy battleground for troubles in the Levant.

Street fighting erupted in Tripoli, on Lebanon’s northern coast, between Sunni Muslim and Alawite communities this weekend. Automatic weapons fire and rocket-propelled grenades echoed through the city’s streets off and on from Friday until Sunday. At least one bomb was defused by the Lebanese army, which deployed to stop the fighting. So far, three people have died and dozens have been wounded, including six soldiers.

The danger of wide-scale fighting between Alawites and Sunnis in Syria is growing, and now, apparently, Lebanese groups are taking up the fight as well. (And this weekend’s clashes, we should add, didn’t even involve President Assad’s well-armed, loyal friends in Hezbollah.) The prospect of violence in Syria spilling beyond its borders is all too easy picture. Imagine if Butcher Assad’s security forces decided to distract the international community from their crackdown by arming or encouraging allies or sympathetic organizations in Lebanon or Iraq.

That is something we hope not to see.

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  • Richard Treitel

    A “diffused bomb” would be a cluster munition or, worse yet, a chemical weapon. Flog that intern and open the dictionary to the page that says “defuse”.

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