The Syrian Civil War has officially gone regional today, with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) announcing that it has begun attacking neighboring Lebanon as of 12:30 pm Thursday afternoon.
The FSA and other factions of the Sunni-dominated Syrian rebels have been fighting with Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shi’ite militia, for over a week over control of several Shi’ite border villages with large populations of Lebanese residents. The FSA has ordered the villages all “evacuated.”
The FSA has promised to continue with its attacks until it “eliminates” Hezbollah across Lebanon. Given the Hezbollah militia’s political wing is part of the ruling Lebanese government, this is a de facto declaration of war on Lebanon itself.
The FSA has claimed “direct hits” in artillery attacks against Lebanon today, but in the near-term the fighting is likely to focus on riling up Lebanon’s own Sunni population into rebellion, something the FSA has done to some success in the northern city of Tripoli, where they fueled weeks of sectarian violence late last year.