Sectarian Clashes Continue in Northern Lebanon Amid Syrian Backdrop

Six Killed, 50 Wounded in Two Days of Street Battles

by Jason Ditz, December 05, 2012

The Lebanese Army moved into the northern city of Tripoli today, shutting down major roads and setting up checkpoints in an attempt to calm two days of sectarian fighting between Sunnis linked to the Syrian rebellion and members of the city’s Alawite minority.

The death toll over two days of fighting has now risen to at least six, with 50 others reportedly wounded. This suggests more fighting today than yesterday, when gunbattles on Syria Street led to only a few casualties.

The Sunni factions involved in the fighting are reportedly linked with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which has seen Lebanese recruits coming across the border to join their rebellion in growing numbers.

Tripoli’s Alawites don’t appear to have any particular axe to grind, but being members of the same sect as Syrian President Bashar Assad has made them targets by association, which has led to more and more of sect’s members taking up arms.

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