Spillover violence from the Syrian Civil War has been a problem for its neighbors, particularly Lebanon, for quite some time. Today saw some serious violence along the border, including the Lebanese Army engaging in a gun battle with rebels.
Today’s fights started with rebels killing at least five Syrian soldiers in border villages on their side, and fleeing into Lebanon. Syria responded with shells against a Lebanese village, killing a Syrian refugee and wounding four civilians.
At the time of the shelling, Syria’s Ambassador to Lebanon was meeting with Lebanon FM Adnan Manosur, saying the Lebanese government was responsible for the violence because they weren’t stopping the rebels from using their border region.
Shortly after that, the Lebanese military went on the offensive against some rebel gunmen in an area near the border. Death tolls from this fight are still unclear.
Opposition leader Saad Hariri slammed the government for allowing Syrian “aggression” against Lebanese soil, while Syria’s Ambassador warned that the “favorable environment” in Lebanon was attracting rebels to use their country as a staging ground for the civil war.
The Bekaa Valley has seen a lot of violence from both sides, with the Syrian government sometimes pursuing rebels over the border, and rebels regularly attacking Shi’ites in the area, accusing them of being in league with Hezbollah.