New violence in Lebanon

The World

A car bomb in the early morning hours blew up the first two floors of this building. This is just one in a seemingly endless back and forth of attacks of neighbors here. the people here are Sunnis and support the government, the Allawites from the neighborhood next door support Hezbollah’s opposition. Unemployment here is rampant and this resident rails against the opposition for whipping up violence. Another resident gives me a tour of the neighborhood, pointing out bullet holes and marks of RPGs. But a black away in this Allawite neighborhood there’s the smell of burnt clothing and building materials. This man heads the Allawite faction admits to getting money from outside but not weapons. He claims Sunni politicians from Tripoli are making the Allawaites into boogeymen. But Allawites did a good job of making themselves into boogeymen: in 1986 Syrian troops with Allawite help stationed here massacred some three-dozen Sunnis and the enmity from that event hasn’t abated. Some posit a third explanation, claiming that Hezbollah is arming both sides to create a mutual fear. This MP from Tripoli says Hezbollah is hellbent on taking over Lebanon and thinks chaos in the north will help that cause. Talk of wider violence in Lebanon then isn’t idle talk.

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