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Syria’s Violence Spreads to Beirut

First Tripoli, now Beirut. Next, Hezbollah?

From the NYT:

Gun battles between Lebanese factions supporting and opposing the government of President Bashar al-Assad spread to Beirut on Monday in the most serious outbreak of violence in Lebanon since the Syrian uprising began, leaving several people dead and the country more tense than ever in its effort to avoid the fray next door.

The fighting overnight in Beirut resulted in the expulsion of a small pro-Syrian faction, the Arab Movement Party, from a largely Sunni Muslim neighborhood in the southern part of the city. The quarter’s streets were littered with burned cars and trash containers, but mostly calm after the military intervened.

Hezbollah, according to reports, has yet to become involved in the fighting in Lebanon. If that happens, Lebanon might witness a kind of sectarian and religious violence not seen in years. Already, several Gulf states have warned their citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon and have advised those still in Lebanon to try to leave.

These are not good signs for one of the Middle East’s most explosive countries.

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  • Kris

    Will you stop harshing Matt’s mellow?

  • Joe

    If, as the Syrian regime is losing hold, the Syrian intelligence apparatus in Lebanon might act out in some way to cause a diversion for itself and Assad supporters exiting en masse from Syria. It’s possible.

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