Syrian conflict spills over Lebanese border
(18 August 2014)
Al-Queda affiliates Jabhat al-Nusra operating within Syria took control of Arsal, a Lebanese town with a majority Sunni Muslim population. Fighters crossed the border from Syria at the beginning of August in response to Lebanon’s arrest of a Jabhat al-Nusra commander. Violence erupted between the fighters from Syria and Lebanese military forces, claiming the lives of at least 17 Lebanese army troops and unknown numbers of Jabhat al-Nusra fighters, residents, and Syrian refugees.
Conflict in Syria has been ongoing since 2011, when the Baath government employed the military to quell anti-government street protests. By 2012, government opposition had organized a formal military uprising against the Baath government, and civil war ensued. Jabhat al-Nusra became involved in the conflict in 2013.
The conflicts in Arsal has been the worst spill over violence from the Syrian civil war in Lebanon thus far, and despite a tentative ceasefire agreed to on 6 August, residents and Syrian refugees are fleeing the community.
Not Us Too, 7 August 2014, by J.N. Arsal for The Economist, http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2014/08/lebanon-and-islamic-state?zid=312&ah=da4ed4425e74339883d473adf5773841
Syria Profile, 19 March 2014, BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14703856