Syrian spillover

Spill over from the Syrian civil war is
making its way into Lebanon. Around 30 Syrians have been kidnapped in Lebanon in total, with most being held by the powerful Lebanese Shiite family al Mokdad. The kidnappings are in retaliation for one of their family members being kidnaped supposedly by the FSA in Syria. The al Mokdad clan has threatened to abduct Qatari and Saudi nationals that they find in Lebanon. The Gulf nations have taken this threat very seriously. On Wednsday Qatar and Saudi Arabia urged all of its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately. This latest development should be a warning to any an all nations meddling in the Syrian civil war; stay out or face the consequences. What ever happens in Syria will reverberate in Lebanon. Small sale fighting has already taken place in Tripoli which has a significant Alawite community. We are now reaching the point of no return in this conflict. For all of the bluster from Western and Gulf leaders about the imminent downfall of Assad, he still remains in power. Short of an intervention no one knows how long he will continue fighting. As horrific as the civil war is now, it will surely be eclipsed by what will come after Assad leaves or is murdered. Fighting between Assad’s forces and the rebels are leading to a mutual cycle of violence that will sow enough hate on both sides to have this conflict last for years if not decades. This latest spate of kidnapping illustrates this point perfectly. The kidnapping of one Lebanese individual has now mobilized an entire family into a militia. The al Mokdad clan have no ties to either Hezbollah or Amal, the main Shia factions in Lebanon, but they are now firmly in the camp that opposes the FSA and the rebels in Syria. Animosity between the FSA and the al Mokdad clan is not going to end when the civil war ends.

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