Lebanese Military Given Control of Tripoli for Six Months

Officials Convinced Police Can No Longer Handle Unrest

On-again, off-again sectarian unrest came roaring back in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli over the weekend, with at least 12 people killed in clashes between Sunni and Alawite militias.

The Lebanese government has tried to mediate disputes and occasional dispatch troops, but seems to have given up on trying to handle it themselves, and are instead handing the city over outright to Tripoli.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who is from Tripoli, says that he and President Suleiman agreed that the situation could no longer continue, and that the Lebanese army will have full control over the city for the next six months.

Tripoli has long been a home of both Sunnis and Alawites, and it is spillover tensions from the ongoing civil war in Syria that has turned century-long neighbors against one-another.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. 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.