Syria Threatens to Attack Rebel Targets in Lebanon

Demands Lebanese Govt Move Against Rebel Positions

by Jason Ditz, March 15, 2013

The Syrian Civil War has already spread considerably across the border into neighboring Lebanon, and looks to do even more today, with Syrian officials threatening military strikes on rebel targets inside Lebanon if the Lebanese Army doesn’t attack them first.

The Lebanese government is at odds with the rebels but the nation’s military is small and mostly avoids conflict when possible. Hezbollah’s own militia, on the other hand, has been openly fighting Syrian rebels along the border. Hezbollah is a member of the Lebanese government, and a close ally of Syria’s.

The danger is not so much the physical Syrian attacks on Lebanese soil, since the rebels are mostly set up in a no-man’s land of camps along the border, but rather the damaging effect it will have on sectarian relations in Lebanon, already strained by the war.

The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) has been trying to fuel Sunni insurrections in northern Lebanon, fostering fighting in the city of Tripoli. The addition of Syrian government attacks could further polarize relations in the nation and set the stage for a sectarian civil war in Lebanon as well.

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