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Lebanon

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Index
  1. Lebanon Main Page
  2. Warring Factions Within Lebanon and Regional Conflicts Make Peace Impossible
  3. Continuing Conflict with Israel Leads to the Formation of Hezbollah
  4. Israeli Attacks and Syrian Meddling Continue
  5. Syrian Occupation Ends, but Syrian Influence Continues
  6. A Failed Israeli Attack Increases Hezbollah's Power
  7. Terrorism Within Lebanon Leads to a Troubled Government
  8. Hezbollah Flexes Its Muscle and Gains a Greater Stake in the Government
  9. Pro-Western Coalition Maintains Its Majority in Parliament
  10. Lebanon Dragged into War in Syria
  11. Prime Minister Mikati Resigns
  12. Civil War in Syria Spills over into Lebanon
Civil War in Syria Spills over into Lebanon

In May 2013, Syria's civil war spilled into Lebanon, mainly due to Hezbollah's increased involvement. On May 25, 2013, Hezbollah and Syrian forces bombed the rebel-controlled town of Al-Qusayr, Homs. Dozens were killed. The following day, multiple rockets hit Beirut, mainly striking Shiite suburbs, also strongholds of Hezbollah. The ban against arming the Syrian rebels was lifted by the European Union on May 27, 2013.

Fighting also erupted in Tripoli in late May 2013. The battles occurred between Sunnis and Alawites, allies of Hezbollah. The fighting between the two militias was so intense that schools and businesses in Tripoli were closed for a week. At least 24 people were killed. Sectarian violence broke out again in June when an armed, extremist Sunni group led by Sheikh Ahmed Assir attacked an army checkpoint in Sidon. Government troops, backed by Hezbollah, retaliated. About 35 people were killed in the fighting.

On May 31, 2013, Parliament voted to delay elections in Lebanon for at least 17 months, citing indecision over a new electoral law and the deteriorating security in the country as a result of the Syrian crisis spreading into Lebanon. Parliamentary elections were supposed to take place on June 16, 2013. It was the first time an election had been delayed since Lebanon's civil war ended in 1990. A national unity government was formed in Feb. 2014, ending 10 months of deadlock caused by a power struggle between blocks led by Hezbollah and Sunnis. Tammam Salam took office as prime minister. He cited improving security and dealing with Syrian refugees as his top priorities.

On Dec. 27, 2013, the former Lebanese finance minister and U.S. ambassador, Muhammad Shatah, was killed by a car bomb, along with seven others in Beirut. Shatah was a leading Sunni and his death, coupled with the Syrian crisis, has served to exacerbate existing tensions within Lebanon's religous communities; about a third of the population are Sunni Muslim, a third Shia, and a third Christian.

By April 2014, more than 1 million Syrian refugees had entered Lebanon, exacting an economic burden on the country of 4 million.

See also Encyclopedia: Lebanon .
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Lebanon
Central Administration for Statistics www.cas.gov.lb/ .
See also Lebanon Timeline .

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