Sunday, May 20, 2012

Syria tensions light fuse in northern Lebanon

(Reuters) - As armored vehicles rumble past bullet-scarred streets, Lebanese men heckle soldiers they have now added to their list of enemies: "There go the traitors!"

In Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, the army may have halted three days of bloody clashes kindled by unrest in Syria next door, but anger is still festering. Subdued street fighters hardly disguise their rage towards the state for stopping them.

Fuelled by Syria's 14-month-old revolt and Lebanon's own sectarian struggles, tensions in the impoverished port city boiled over into clashes this week between Sunni Muslims who support the Syrian uprising and Alawites who back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"They're not the Lebanese army anymore, they are the Syrian army. They shouldn't stop us, they should come in here and fight with us!" shouted Walid Bahar, a 45-year-old Sunni man, pointing to a leg covered in wounds. "We are against the army." Read More