When the battle for ‘Arsal began, many civilians in Lebanon were shocked: “Is the Islamic State really here?”
The sad reality is that the Islamic State has been in Lebanon since the advent of armed conflict in Syria; many were just unaware. Growing fundamentalism coalesced with sectarian strife in the northern Lebanese province of Tripoli was not hidden. In fact, many of the Free Syrian Army’s soldiers originated from the ‘Akkar District in Lebanon – a district well-known for its long standing conflict between the ‘Alawi of Jabal Mohsen and Sunni of Bab Al-Tabani. Nevertheless, Lebanon was poised to avoid civil war, despite the absence of a government; it would find a way to persevere.
Hezbollah entered the Syrian conflict in May of 2013, assisting the Syrian Arab Army in the Al-Qusayr and Tal Kalakh Offensives, which sealed Syria’s border with Tripoli. Almost immediately following Hezbollah’s participation, there was a…
View original post 390 more words