Israel keeps close watch on rising sectarian tensions as Syria’s escalating civil war spills over into Lebanon


Originally posted on National Post | News:

As the international community focuses its attention on Syria and how to respond to the growing likelihood that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has used chemical weapons on a civilian population, Israel’s attention is focused as much on Lebanon as on Syria.

Lebanese security forces arrested a suspect over the weekend in a double bombing in the predominantly Sunni city of Tripoli on Friday that killed at least 47 people, and wounded some 500, including dozens who were said to be in critical condition. The Lebanese National News Agency said the suspect, Sheikh Ahmad al-Ghareeb, has ties to a Sunni organization that has close ties with Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbullah group.

The attacks raised sectarian tensions in Lebanon, which had already been tense. Hundreds of well-trained Hezbullah troops have been fighting in Syria on behalf of Assad, supporting his Alawite regime. The Alawites are an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

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