Syrian Warplanes Strike Rebel Targets in Lebanon

Both Rebels, Govt Are Now Launching Strikes Into Lebanon

According to Lebanese Army officials, Syrian warplanes fired four missiles into the area along the border, near the Lebanese border town of Arsal. The strike targeted rebel positions, and there has been no report of any casualties.

The attack follows threats by the Syrian military to do exactly this over the weekend, complaining that Sunni border towns have been housing the rebels and demanding the Lebanese military do something.

At the same time, Syria’s rebels have been attacking targets in Lebanon over the past few weeks as well, meaning both sides have expanded their combat operations across the border to their much smaller neighbor.

Though Lebanon’s government includes Hezbollah and is close with Syria’s President Assad, they have so far attempted to stay formally neutral in the Syrian civil war. This will get more difficult if the war continues to be fought on Lebanese soil.

The even bigger risk, however, is that the sectarian violence that has marked Syria’s war will be exported to Lebanon as well, and that the coastal nation, with a population split more or less evenly between Sunnis and Shi’ites, will see its existing political tensions erupt into religious warfare as well.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.