More Clashes Erupt Along Lebanese Border
Renewed clashes broke out between Syrian troops and residents of the Lebanese border town of Aarsal today. The report from Now Lebanon states that most residents of Aarsal are Sunni and support the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Recent fighting in the Lebanese city of Tripoli has caused many to fear that the conflict in Syria is spilling over the border into Lebanon. U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly expressed concern over the violence, and met with Hezbollah representative Ammar Musawi to discuss the release of eleven Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped by Syrian rebels in May. Vice President of the Higher Shiite Council Sheikh Abdul-Amir Qabalan also called on Turkey to step up efforts to release the pilgrims.
An extended report by Al-Jazeera examines the fighting in Lebanon and the similarities it shares with the conflict in Syria, with pro and anti-Assad factions clashing. Rohan Talbot, however, argues that the use of social media may be helping to aggravate the tensions in Lebanon. “Lebanon is not on fire,” Talbot writes, referring to Twitter posts saying as much, “though a battle for the narrative is in full swing.”