90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Syrian Violence Spills Into Lebanon

A Lebanese boy looks through a hole made by shrapnel that hit his house, after the Lebanese army deployed in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon. (AP)

Lebanese troops deployed Tuesday in tense areas of the northern city of Tripoli after three days of sectarian clashes killed at least six people in a spillover of the 14-month-long conflict in neighboring Syria.

Lebanon and Syria share a complex web of political and sectarian ties and rivalries, which are easily inflamed. Tripoli — Lebanon’s second largest city — has seen bouts of sectarian violence in the past, but the fighting has become more frequent as the conflict in Syria worsens.

Like Walking On Egg Shells

“Inevitably what happens in Syria has a huge impact in Lebanon. It’s like walking on egg shells and everyone expects those egg shells to crack at some stage,” the BBC’s Jonathan Head told Here & Now‘s Robin Young.

“But in some ways Tripoli is a special case. It’s a largely Sunni city with very strong emotional ties to the largely Sunni very strongly Muslim opposition inside Syria, with a long history among the Sunni population there of real antagonism toward the Syrian regime. So there’s a history there,” he said.

The conflict in Syria is more than a year old now and Head says there’s not any optimism about what’s going to happen because the United Nations peace plan isn’t working.

“It’s such a cliche to say this isn’t Libya but it isn’t,” he said. “If you want a comparison, one of the best and most dismaying to make is that currently Syria is a bit like Bosnia in the 1990s or maybe Iraq in the middle of the last decade, a really bitter, almost insoluble civil war. And everybody on either side is preparing for a war even though there are huge number of Syrians in the middle who wish it wouldn’t happen. But they seem to be powerless.”

Guest:

  • Jonathan Head, BBC reporter

 

 


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

October 29 Comment

Reporter Crosses Into Syria To Tell Stories Of Fighters

Holly Williams of CBS discusses some of the people she's interviewed, including women soldiers on the frontlines.

October 29 6 Comments

How Far Have We Come Since The Financial Crisis?

Or are we already going backwards? We ask Michael Lewis, author of books including "Flash Boys" and "Liar's Poker."

October 28 Comment

Cooking With The Fruit Of Fall

Apples are abundant, but so are pears, pomegranates, persimmons and figs. Our resident chef shares six recipes.

October 28 2 Comments

The Mystery Of Michael Rockefeller’s Disappearance

A new book attempts to piece together what happened to the 23-year-old heir, who went missing in Dutch New Guinea in 1961.