As many as seven people were killed and 22 others received criticalinjuries when pro- and anti-Syrian groups fired on each other onSaturday in northern Lebanon. The Syrian crisis has started tospill over to the neighboring countries and it is dangerous,indeed. The regional security and stability is at stake as thesecurity forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad's regime continue to tryto stem the protests and demonstrations through violence andrepression. In Lebanon, people are divided over whether to supportAssad or rebels fighting against the regime. |
The clashes were reported in Tripoli, a port city of Lebanon.Officials and human rights activists working in the area disclosedthat the fighting started before midnight Friday and intensifiedSaturday. They believe the clashes were result of the sectarianalignment, as Sunnis of Lebanon have been supporting the rebels ofSyria, while Shias are on the side of Bashar al-Assad. It is alsowidely believed that Hezbollah Hezbollah based in Lebanon has been supporting the Syrian regime for theirown vested interests and even a number of activists of the grouphave been fighting against the rebels. It has been 15 months to the uprising and Syrian people still waitfor a positive outcome of their sacrifices. The United Nations andhuman rights activists working in the area say that more than13,000 people have been killed so far by the security forces loyalto the regime.
The violence still continues in the violence-wrackedcountry and Bashar al-Assad has virtually refused to step down fromhis position. On the other hand, the international community has been looking fordifferent options to remove the dictator. In a recent statement,Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran and Hezbollah for woes of innocent Syrians, as both ofthem have been collaborating with President Bashar al-Assad. Healso condemned the fresh killings in Houla and called on the worldpowers to take action. It was for the first time since the uprisingbegan in Syria 15 months ago that Mr.
Netanyahu publicly condemnedthe Syrian regime for carrying out atrocities against civiliansjust to prolong his rule. Why do Hezbollah and Iran support Bashar al-Assad? Assad comes fromthe minority Alawite Shiite tribe of the country. He succeeded hisfather, Hafez Assad, in 2000 after his death. In Syria, the Shiiteminority has been ruling the Sunni majority for years and Iranfears if the regime is ousted, the country"s vested interestsin the region may fall in danger. Observers believe Iran isfighting a proxy war against Syrian rebels with the help ofHezbollah.
Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization basedin Lebanon and an armed wing of Iran. The international community should do something viable at theearliest to end bloodshed in Syria, otherwise the fire can engulfthe whole region.
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