Report: 500 Syrian Army Defectors in Northern Lebanon

Defectors Working With 'Free Syrian Army' Forces Inside

Reports coming out of the Washington Post this weekend say that approximately 500 members of the Free Syrian Army defector faction are operating inside northern Lebanon, working with 200 others who are still inside Syria.

The report is unique, as most information about the Free Syrian Army has related to their operations in Turkey, and the leadership is overwhelming operating out of Turkey, with support from the Turkish government.

The focus of the story was the Free Syrian Army trying to shill for western military backing, but also brings uncomfortable attention to Lebanon, which has been trying its darnedest to avoid getting swept up in the instability of its neighbor.

Syrian officials have repeatedly claimed militant factions were operating outside of Lebanon, fueling concern that border towns might face an invasion. Though Syria is probably in enough internal trouble now that such invasions are no longer as major of a threat, the confirmation of the reports could further fuel sectarian tensions inside Lebanon.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.