23 dead in Lebanon suicide bombings, Al-Qaeda affiliate claims responsibility
Associated Press : Beirut (Lebanon)
19 November 2013
Two suicide bombings struck Tuesday near the Iranian Embassy in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, killing 23 people, including the Iranian cultural attaché.
The mid-morning blasts hit Beirut's upscale neighborhood of Janah, a stronghold of the Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group. One explosion blew out the large black main gate of the Iranian mission, damaging the three-story facility.
The Abdullah Azzam brigades, a Lebanon-based al Qaeda affiliate, said it was behind a double suicide attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut on Tuesday, according to the Twitter page of a cleric linked to the group.
"The Abdullah Azzam brigades - the Hussein bin Ali cells - may they please God - are behind the attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut," Sheikh Sirajeddine Zuraiqat, the group's religious guide, posted on Twitter.
The brigades threatened more attacks in Lebanon until Iran pulled its forces out of Syria and their prisoners were released from Lebanese jails, the post added.
Iran-backed Shi'ite Hezbollah militants have been fighting alongside Syrian government forces against rebels in Syria.
Iranian Ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi identified the dead diplomat as Sheikh Ibrahim Ansari. Speaking to Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV, he said Ansari took his post in Lebanon a month ago and was overseeing all regional cultural activities. (read more)
17 injured in Lebanon clashes
3 November 2013
Seventeen people have been wounded in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli in clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian government, Press TV reports.
Clashes erupted in the Lebanese port city on Saturday, after Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) summoned Ali Eid, the leader of Alawite community, for questioning over twin blasts that hit Tripoli in August.
Eid has denied receiving any summons and refused to appear in court.
His son, Refaat Eid, who is the secretary general of Lebanon’s Arab Democratic Party, denied any link to the bombings and expressed distrust in the Lebanese intelligence system.
Sheikh Assad Assi, the president of the Alawite Islamic Council, has warned the ISF against summoning Ali Eid, calling the move an insult to the Shia Alawite community.
Meanwhile, the Sunni Future Bloc has called on the ISF to arrest Ali Eid by force if he disobeys the judicial order.
According to a Lebanese judicial source, summoning Eid for questioning comes after his driver, Ahmad Mohammad Ali, confessed to smuggling one of the suspects behind the Tripoli blasts into Syria. Refaat Eid has denied involvement.
Tripoli has witnessed clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian government since the beginning of the unrest in Syria more than two years ago.
The clashes have been concentrated in the Bab al-Tibbaneh and Jabal Mohsen neighborhoods of Tripoli.
Bab al-Tibbaneh residents are against the government in Damascus, and the people of Jabal Mohsen support the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Bombings Strike Lebanon, as Mosques Are Targeted in Growing Violence By Hwaida Saad and Ben Hubbard 23 August 2013
TRIPOLI, Lebanon — Car bombs exploded outside two Sunni mosques in this northern Lebanese city on Friday as many worshipers were just finishing prayers, killing dozens of people, wounding hundreds and sending new sectarian shudders through the country, already deeply unsettled by the conflict in neighboring Syria.(read more)
Sunni leader says Hezbollah leading Lebanon into 'Syrian fire' By Reuters 17 August 2013
(Reuters) - Lebanon's leading Sunni Muslim politician Saad al-Hariri accused Hezbollah on Saturday of dragging the country deeper into Syria's civil war after the Shi'ite militant group's leader said he was ready to go to Syria himself to fight.
Hariri, a former prime minister, was responding to a speech by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah who said that a car bomb in Shi'ite southern Beirut would only redouble the group's military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.(read more)
Hezbollah Leader Rallies Members In Uneasy Lebanon By Associated Press 2 August 2013
BEIRUT (AP) — The leader of Hezbollah rallied hundreds of cheering supporters Friday with sectarian pledges of support for Palestinians, a sign of the unease the group feels as turmoil grows within its home of Lebanon.
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah's first public appearance in almost a year came as Lebanon's president vowed not to be intimidated after two rockets struck near the presidential palace. The rocket volley followed President Michel Suleiman criticizing Hezbollah's involvement in the civil war ravaging neighboring Syria, violence that has spread into Lebanon. (read more)
Refugees face wave of racism in Lebanon, Egypt By Rana El Moussaoul 26 July 2013
BEIRUT: A wave of xenophobia is blighting the lives of thousands of Syrian refugees in countries such as Egypt and Lebanon, where they are often blamed for anything that goes wrong. In Egypt, Syrians are accused of taking sides and interfering in the country’s political crisis, while in Lebanon they are accused of taking the jobs of Lebanese.
Egyptian media have played an instrumental role in spreading anti-Syrian sentiment, accusing them of joining protests in support of deposed Islamist president Mohammad Morsi. (read more)
Lebanon/Syria: End Indiscriminate Cross-Border Attacks Human Rights Watch 22 April 2013
(Beirut) – All parties to the conflict in Syria should stop indiscriminate cross-border attacks on inhabited areas in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said today.
On April 14, 2013, a Syrian opposition armed group, identifying itself as Omar al- Farouq Brigade, shelled the Shia villages of al-Qasr and Hawsh al- Sayyed in northern Bekaa killing two civilians and wounding three. The nature of the rockets and launchers that appear to have been used, together with the lack of any evidence of military targets in the villages, strongly suggests these attacks were indiscriminate and therefore violate the laws of war. (read more)
Lebanon to protest to Arab League after spillover Syrian fire kills two By Agencies, The National 16 April 2013
BEIRUT // Lebanon yesterday condemned the spillover of fire from Syrian rebel and regime forces onto its territory and said it would protest to the Arab League after artillery fire killed two people on Sunday.
"The safety of every Lebanese citizen and village is the responsibility of the Lebanese state, and any attack from any side is unacceptable," social affairs minister Wael Abu Faour said after a ministerial meeting.
He said the foreign ministry would "undertake all necessary measures and communications to ensure all sides bear their responsibilities and do not repeat such attacks." (read more)
New sectarian kidnap in Lebanon: security source Agence France-Presse 26 March 26 2013
Gunmen from a Shiite clan kidnapped a man from a Sunni town in Lebanon on Tuesday in the latest incident of sectarian kidnaps related to the conflict in Syria, a security official said.
"Gunmen from the Jaafar clan kidnapped a man from the town of Arsal," in northern Lebanon, the official told AFP.
The wave of sectarian kidnappings began on Sunday when Hussein Kamel Jaafar, 37, was kidnapped by unidentified assailants, and reportedly taken into Syria. (read more)
Sectarian clashes kill three in north Lebanon city Reporting by Nazih Sadiq; Writing by Erika Solomon; Editing by Sophie Hares, Reuters 21 March 2013
Three people were killed in a second night of sectarian fighting in Lebanon's port city of Tripoli on Thursday, residents said, the latest spate of violence fuelled by the civil war in neighboring Syria.
At least 18 were wounded, security sources said, as sounds of machineguns and rocket propelled grenades rocked neighboring districts that are home to communities linked to both sides of the Syrian conflict.
One area is dominated by Lebanese Sunni Muslims, who support the Sunni-led uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the other is an enclave of Lebanese Alawites, the same Shi'ite Muslim offshoot to which the Syrian leader belongs. (read more)
One killed in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli Reporting by Nazih Siddiq; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Robin Pomeroy, Reuters 20 March 2013
One person was shot dead and more than 20 were wounded by gunfire in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Wednesday, security sources said, in sectarian violence fuelled by the civil war in neighbouring Syria.
The dead man was from the Jabal Mohsen district, an enclave of Alawite residents in the mainly Sunni Muslim port city. Most Sunni Muslims in Lebanon support the uprising against Assad, who is from the Syria's Alawite minority.
Tensions over the Syrian crisis have frequently led to street fighting in Tripoli, most recently in December when at least 12 people were killed. (read more)
Five Syrian shells land in Lebanon despite warning Writing by Oliver Holmes, reporting by Afif Diab, editing by Angus macSwan, Reuters 20 March 2013
Five shells fired from Syria landed in Lebanon on Wednesday, one day after Lebanese President Michel Suleiman warned that Syrian strikes on its neighbor were an unacceptable violation of its sovereignty.
Witnesses said the shells landed in fields near al-Qasr, a village less than a mile from the border, but no one was hurt.
The Syrian government, battling a two-year-old revolt against four decades of rule by the Assad family, has warned it may strike at Syrian rebels taking refuge across the frontier.(read more)
Lebanese President Michel Sleiman attends a Cabinet session at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
Tension high after Syria army kills four in Lebanon The Daily Star 25 February 2013
TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Lebanon’s president and prime minister urged Syria Sunday to stop shelling Lebanese territory after four Lebanese were killed by gunfire from the Syrian side of the border, in incidents that heightened tensions on the two neighbors’ frontier.
The renewal of deadly incidents on the Lebanese-Syrian border, which had claimed the lives of several Lebanese citizens last year, evoked fresh calls by the opposition March 14 parties for the deployment of the Lebanese Army and U.N. troops along the two countries’ common boundaries.
President Michel Sleiman voiced regret over the death of Lebanese citizens by Syrian shelling in the northern Wadi Khaled region and the village of Heesha near the border with Syria, while Prime Minister Najib Mikati asked Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour to protest to Syrian authorities over these incidents. (read more)
Fatal sectarian clashes in Lebanon’s Tripoli 04 December 2012 Al Jazeera
War in Syria trickles on as Sunni and Alawite fighters exchange fire in coastal city, leaving two men killed.
Two men have been killed and three other wounded in sectarian clashes in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli between gunmen loyal to opposing sides in neighbouring Syria's civil war.
Lebanon's LBC channel confirmed the dead men as Mohammad Ibrahim, who was killed in the city’s troubled Jabal Mohsen neighbourhood on Tuesday. (read more)
Hezbollah under fire, but Lebanon hold is tight By KARIN LAUB Associated Press 6 October 2012
MLEETA, Lebanon (AP) — A maze of military bunkers and tunnels carved into a mountain near the border with Israel hints at why the Shiite Hezbollah movement is unlikely to lose its grip in Lebanon despite the setbacks it has suffered because of the civil war in neighboring Syria. Mleeta, a former staging ground for Hezbollah's battles with Israel that has been turned into a sprawling tourist attraction, is emblematic of the base of its power: its arsenal and military prowess. That base ultimately remains firm, even if Hezbollah has faced sharper criticism among Lebanese for its siding with Syria's regime in the civil war and even if it has reportedly suffered some reduction in aid from its top patron, Iran, squeezed by Western sanctions. Besides its weapons, Hezbollah can also still count on an extensive patronage network, carefully nurtured alliances with religious minorities and alternative sources of funding. (read more)
Syria's Crisis Hits Lebanon BY PHILIP BOYES Wall Street Journal October 23, 2012
Europe must work to prevent Assad's dirty war from unraveling the whole region.
The car bomb that killed a high-ranking Lebanese intelligence official and at least two others here on Friday is a powerful reminder that Syria's conflict is heading toward a messy endgame for the region. Any hope that the impact of Bashar Assad's dirty war could be confined to a spillover of refugees has been dashed by the blast in the heart of the city's well-heeled Christian district. It could be the precursor to a new civil war in Lebanon.
The priority for foreign governments and diplomats must now be to separate the Syrian bloodbath from Lebanon's militarized inter-factional rivalry. ...
Copyright Wall Street Journal
Assad ordered killing of Muslim cleric to instigate civil war in Lebanon: leaked files By AL ARABIYA 02 October 2012
Leaked documents obtained by Al Arabiya disclose important information about Assad’s plan to start a civil war in Lebanon.
In recent months, Northern Lebanon has been the scene of deadly clashes. The violence in Lebanon left dozens killed and left a shadow of insecurity hanging over the habitants of the northern coastal city of Tripoli and its surroundings.
But what may have first appeared to be impulsive sectarian hostilities between inhabitants of the same region, now seems more likely to have been a premeditated strategy by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to instigate a conflict in Lebanon. (read more)
Syria war planes fire missiles into Lebanon in apparent cross-border violation, reports say The Associated Presss 19 September 2012
(AP) BEIRUT - Missiles fired by Syrian warplanes hit Lebanese territory Monday in one of the most serious cross-border violations since Syria's crisis began 18 months ago, security officials in Beirut and Lebanese state media said.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said four missiles fired by two Syrian jets hit a rugged and remote area on the edge of the Lebanese border town of Arsal. No casualties were immediately reported.
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman ordered an investigation into the border shelling Monday, without openly blaming Syria.
Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported that the warplanes fired three missiles that fell on the outskirts of Arsal about 500 meters (yards) from the border between the two countries. (read more)
Lebanon Christians feel under siege; find hope in Pope Samia Nakhoul Reuters 12, September 2012
BEIRUT (Reuters) - In 1510, Pope Leo X thanked Divine Providence for having preserved the Maronite Christians through the hardest of times, "planted among infidels, schismatics and heretics as in a field of error". He described them as a "rose among thorns, an impregnable rock in the sea, unshaken by the waves and fury of the thundering tempest". Today, more than five centuries later, Pope Benedict will reassert this message of survival in a hostile environment in a three-day visit to Lebanon. His visit comes at a time when Christians in the region feel their existence threatened by the rise of political Islam. It also coincides with violent protests in Libya and Egypt against film, made in the United States, that is insulting to Islam. (read more)