Sunnis and Alawites in Lebanon’s second-largest city of Tripoli are still slugging it out. They’ve been doing it for some time now. A reporter with the Guardian says he heard near-constant gunfire all night and explosions every five minutes.
At what point does fighting between sectarian militias in a country like Lebanon transition from clashes to war? I ask because I don’t know. There’s no hard and fast definition for this sort of thing. This is Lebanon we’re talking about here. Lebanese cities have an unfortunate tendency to resemble Mogadishu once in a while. But if this was happening in my neighborhood in the United States I wouldn’t hesitate to say I now lived in a war zone.
I wouldn’t describe what’s happening there as war just yet, although up close it certainly looks, sounds, and feels like a war, especially to those who get shot.
The longer the real war in Syria lasts, the more likely Lebanon really will go up in flames again. If the Syria war truly bursts its borders, there’s no telling where it will stop since Iran, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United States all have intrests at stake in that region.