The Syrian Civil War Has Officially Spread Into Lebanon


Photo: Flickr/FreedomHouse2

An October car bombing that killed Lebanon’s police chief hinted that the Syrian civil war had spilled over into the neighbouring country, but now it appears to be official.Both state and rebel officials report that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has shelled two Hezbollah positions in Lebanon and Syria.

(Lebanese radio, citing Lebanese security sources, said no rebel projectiles from Syria had landed on Lebanese territory.)

And on Wednesday the Turkish Anadolu news agency reported that 13 members of the Sunni radical rebel group Jabhat al-Nusraattacked a Hezbollah patrol in the Lebanese southern town of Zeita which led to the death of three of the Shiite group’s members.”

On Tuesday rebels threatened to hit Hezbollah targets in Lebanon after the Iran-backed group allegedly fired rockets from a town in northern Lebanon in support of Syrian military operations just across the border.

Hezbollah — the most powerful military and political force in Lebanon — has been patrolling border villages and sent fighters in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Last week an elite Iranian commander who helped rebuild southern Lebanon after its 2006 war with Israel was killed while travelling from Damascus to Lebanon.

The increased activity of both Hezbollah and Iran (as well as Israel) inside Syria indicate the increasingly volatile regional implications and sectarian tensions as the 23-month conflict has evolved into a military stalemate.

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