Gulf Arab states have advised citizens not to travel to Lebanon, a popular summer tourist destination that is becoming increasingly engulfed in neighboring Syria’s civil war, official Saudi news agency SPA reported.
“Most GCC states have urged their nationals to avoid travelling to Lebanon due to the instability of the security situation there,” Gulf Cooperation Council’s chief Andullatif al-Zayani was quoted as saying late on Wednesday.
Lebanon is “unsafe” for citizens of the GCC, made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Zayani said.
On Wednesday, at least five rockets launched from across Lebanon’s border with Syria hit the eastern city of Baalbek, a security source told AFP.
The attack came hours after the Lebanese Shiite Movement Hezbollah and Syrian troops captured Qusayr, only 10 kilometers from the border with the small Mediterranean country, after deadly battles with Syrian rebels.
Lebanon has officially maintained a policy of neutrality in Syria’s conflict, but is sharply divided along sectarian lines that have been emphasized by the conflict in Syria.
While Hezbollah and its allies back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the Sunni-led March 14 opposition movement supports the revolt against Assad.
In the northern city of Tripoli, a new wave of Syria-linked clashes between Sunni and Alawite residents has killed eight people since the weekend, bringing to dozens the death toll over recent months.
The violence prompted key GCC member Saudi Arabia on Thursday to urge Lebanon’s people to act “wisely” and end their fighting in Tripoli.
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