Watchdog appeals to Lebanon over Syrian spillover

Members of the Internal Security Forces ride on their vehicle in front of a poster of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (L) and his father, former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, in the Alawite Jabal Mohsen neighborhood in Tripoli, northern Lebanon November 18, 2013. (Reuters)

An international human rights organization has urged Lebanon to rein in sectarian tensions that have been on the rise amid a spillover of Syria’s civil war.

Human Rights Watch said Friday that authorities should better protect minority Alawites - members of an offshoot Shiite sect - who are increasingly coming under attack by Sunni extremists in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

The New York-based watchdog says Alawites in Tripoli’s Jabal Mohsen district have been beaten and stabbed, and the whole community has endured gun battles and mortar attacks over the past year.

Syria’s nearly 3-year-old conflict has deepened sectarian tensions in Lebanon, where factions loyal to Syria’s warring sides often clash. Lebanon’s Sunni Muslims support Syrian rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad’s government, which is dominated by Alawites.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42