Syrian Rebels Accused of Involvement in North Lebanon Fighting

FSA Reportedly Leading Attacks on Tripoli's Alawites

by Jason Ditz, December 11, 2012

A week-long series of battles and attacks in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli continues again today, with no end in sight as fighters from a Sunni neighborhood battle with a neighboring Alawite neighborhood.

But according to Rifaat Eid, the head of Lebanon’s largest Alawite party, many of the attackers coming out of the Sunni neighborhood aren’t even residents in the first place, but are instead members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), one of the key rebel factions in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

The neighborhood in question has seen significant FSA recruiting efforts, and just before the Tripoli fighting began 20 Sunnis from that neighborhood were killed in Syria, having attempted to join the FSA but getting caught in an ambush.

Eid insisted that the Sunnis and Alawites of Tripoli have lived side by side for generations without fighting, and faulted both the Syrian rebels and certain members of the Lebanese political opposition, notably former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, as trying to fuel unrest.

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