Tag Archives: Lebanon

Syria refugee crisis poses major threat to Lebanese stability: U.N. – chicagotribune.com

The massive influx threatens to upset Lebanon’s fragile demographic balance between Shi’tes, Sunnis, Druze and Christians, and comes as the country, which fought its only bloody civil war from 1975-1990, struggles to contain mounting violence seen as linked to the conflict next door.

Earlier this week, Lebanon’s foreign minister said that the crisis was “threatening the existence of Lebanon.” This month, the Lebanese parliament gave a newly formed cabinet a vote of confidence, ending almost a year of political deadlock.

A major challenge for the new government will be the mounting cost of the refugee crisis, which has strained public infrastructure as people fleeing violence in Syria seek housing, food, and healthcare at a time of economic slowdown in Lebanon.

Syria refugee crisis poses major threat to Lebanese stability: U.N. – chicagotribune.com

Advanced Missile Components Said to Have Already Been Moved to Lebanon from Syria

U.S. officials believe members of Hezbollah, the militant group backed by Iran, are smuggling advanced guided-missile systems into Lebanon from Syria piece by piece to evade a secretive Israeli air campaign designed to stop them.

The moves illustrate how both Hezbollah and Israel are using Syria’s civil war as cover for what increasingly is seen as a complex and high-stakes race to prepare for another potential conflict—their own—in ways that could alter the region’s military balance.

Some components of a powerful antiship missile system have already been moved to Lebanon, according to previously undisclosed intelligence, while other systems that could target Israeli aircraft, ships and bases are being stored in expanded weapons depots under Hezbollah control in Syria, say current and former U.S. officials.

Hezbollah Upgrades Missile Threat to Israel – WSJ.com

Syria and Hizbollah have hollowed out the Lebanese state | The National

The fragmentation of the Syrian state is rapidly spilling over the country’s borders. Lebanon, in particular, is facing the prospect of unprecedented state disintegration, and of the unravelling of its system of uneasy sectarian coexistence. This is by far Lebanon’s deepest crisis since the end of the 15-year civil war that ran from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s.

In Iraq, the Syrian spillover is being manifested primarily in almost-daily suicide bombs and car bombs that killed more than 1,000 people in September alone. But Iraqi domestic politics are not driven by events in Syria the way matters in Lebanon have been.

Syria and Hizbollah have hollowed out the Lebanese state | The National

Syrian civil war spreads to Lebanese city of Tripoli | JPost | Israel News

The war in Syria continues to spill over into Lebanon. The Lebanese government has been unable to form a government since April.

The Syrian war has caused 2 million people to flee into neighboring countries and exacerbated regional sectarian divides.

The spillover from the fragmentation of the Syrian state is causing “Lebanon’s deepest crisis since the end of the 15-year civil war that ran from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s,” Hussein Ibish wrote in The National newspaper based in the UAE.

“The irony is that Syria’s transition into a Lebanese-like reality may destroy the ability of Lebanon to maintain its own uneasy equilibrium,” he said.

Syrian civil war spreads to Lebanese city of Tripoli | JPost | Israel News

Lebanese encroachment on Israeli waters could lead to war – Israel Today

Israel is being advised to take legal, and possibly even military action in response to Lebanon’s issuing of an offshore energy exploration license that encroaches on Israel’s territorial waters.

Early last month, Lebanon issued licenses in five blocks of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). One of those licenses expanded the territory into Israel’s EEZ, with Lebanon announcing that the area had a high potential for natural gas discovery.

Globes reports that international law experts are telling Israel that it must respond – either in court or through military force – or risk losing some of its maritime territory.

Lebanese encroachment on Israeli waters could lead to war – Israel Today | Israel News

Blast seen as omen of ‘dark era’ for Lebanon – Washington Post

“This is no longer targeted assassinations of political and militant figures with clear political ends. It’s actually targeting the civilian population,” said Imad Salamey, an associate professor of political science at Lebanese American University. “We are seeing the Iraqization of Lebanon, a spillover from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon. This is massive, a potentially dark era, and God knows how it can be limited.”

Blast seen as omen of ‘dark era’ for Lebanon – Washington Post

Top US general visiting Israel amid Iran, Syria worries | The Times of Israel

With at least some Hezbollah forces tied down in the fighting in Syria, and the organization experiencing political blowback in Lebanon for its support of the Assad regime, the US may be concerned that Israeli leaders believe the cost of an Iran strike — especially in terms of rocket strikes on Israeli cities from across the border — has dropped significantly, according to the report.

In July, Netanyahu told NBC’s “Face the Nation” that Iran was getting “closer and closer to the bomb,” and that “they’re edging up to the red line.”

Netanyahu said, “They haven’t crossed it yet. They’re also building faster centrifuges that would enable them to jump the line, so to speak, at a much faster rate — that is, within a few weeks.”

“I won’t wait until it’s too late,” Netanyahu vowed at the time.

Top US general visiting Israel amid Iran, Syria worries | The Times of Israel

Is Saudi Arabia Targeting Hezbollah? – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Hezbollah and Lebanese security officials’ fears have become reality during the past two weeks. The explosion that targeted the heart of Hezbollah’s most secure neighborhood and the bomb ambush of one of the party’s convoys along Chatoura Road leading to the Syrian border on July 16 embodied what had until recently been mere conjecture: the start of an open war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, with the aim of punishing the party for its involvement in the battle against the Syrian opposition in Qusair. Behind the scenes, it seems Hezbollah is hinting at Saudi Arabian involvement in these attacks, specifically accusing the director-general of Saudi intelligence, Bandar bin Sultan, who Hezbollah considers responsible for funding and conducting these attacks.

Is Saudi Arabia Targeting Hezbollah? – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Israel is Ready for War. Are You? | Uncommon Wisdom Daily

If you think gasoline is expensive now, imagine the price when Iran and Israel start lobbing nukes at each other.

Am I having a nightmare? No, I’m fully awake. That snoozing you hear is an energy market blissfully unaware of potential major war in the Middle East. The shooting could begin as soon as this year.

The world’s financial markets are completely discounting the very real possibility of an Israeli-Iranian war. Years of anger, threats and caustic rhetoric have put the so-called “experts” to sleep. Their blindness is incredibly dangerous for everyone.

Just look what’s happening RIGHT NOW. Israeli jets are already flying into Syria and Lebanon, disabling air-defense systems. Why?

Israel is Ready for War. Are You? | Uncommon Wisdom Daily

Rebels: Assad Transferred Chemical Weapons to Hizbullah | Israel National News

Syria’s president recently transferred two shipments of chemical weapons to Hizbullah, claims rebel spokesman.

Fahad al Masri, a spokesman for the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, told the Lebanese news website El Nashra on Thursday that “the Syrian regime managed to deliver shipments of chemical weapons to Hizbullah.”

He added that the weapons were delivered from an area near the capital Damascus and arrived in Lebanon sometime in the past several weeks.

The transfer of the weapons, al Masri told El Nashra, was coordinated by Syria and Iran.

Rebels: Assad Transferred Chemical Weapons to Hizbullah – Israel National News