News / Middle East

Syria Crisis Spills Over into Lebanon

Al Pessin
MASNAA, Lebanon — Syria's main border crossing with Lebanon was quiet Friday, the day after an estimated 20,000 Syrians crossed to flee the increasing fighting. The conflict in Syria is having a growing impact on its neighbor.

Lebanese officials on the border were prepared for another busy day. It was more of a trickle than a flood, however, and none of the Syrians coming across into Lebanon described themselves as refugees. On a Friday at the start of Ramadan, they might have been coming to visit family, as they claimed.

Many of the refugees who came over on Thursday were believed to be supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from Damascus and its suburbs, like a driver who came on Friday, saying he had brought some people for a two-day visit.

​“No one better will come after Assad. It's not possible. There is no one better than him. 85 percent of the people are with him and 15 percent are getting paid to be against him,” said Ibrahim Ibrahim

Volunteers from the International Committee of the Red Cross were ready to help, but were not needed.

A local Muslim relief organization also swung into action, finding space for refugees in schools and homes. But much of the space was not used. Most of Thursday's refugees were well off and could afford to rent apartments or hotel rooms.

Still, Ali Abdul Khalek of Muslims Without Borders is concerned that more, and poorer, refugees could come if the trouble in Syria continues.

“Lebanon can't absorb a large number of refugees. The population of Damascus is equal to the population of all of Lebanon. Lebanon can't do this by itself without international help,” said Khalek.

Along the row of shops near the border, the Syrian crisis is having a different impact. Business at Ahmed Al-Ajami's family electronics store is down 70 percent because fewer Syrian tourists are coming by.

“Business was very good. The store was bustling. Now, there is nothing since the beginning of the war in Syria. The last month-and-a-half it is nothing at all,” said Lebanese merchant Al-Ajami.

On this Friday, the few customers he had were Lebanese, and this family didn't find what they were looking for.

The fighting continued Friday in Syria, and Lebanon was braced for the continuing human, economic and political fallout from the unrest in its much larger neighbor.

You May Like

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: anonymous
July 29, 2012 5:27 AM
This is what foreign engineered revolutions lead to.Extensive massacres and unnecessary blood shed.The western countries should be ashamed of themselves for supporting an opposition group made up of salafis ,takfiries and alquaede an even enginneering massacres to justify such rebellion .Assad should go ,but not before defeating and uprooting its blood thirsty opposition.

by: Malek Towghi (Baloch) from: USA
July 21, 2012 12:57 PM
President Obama should ask Hillary Clinton to resign before this war lady puts the whole Arab world east of the Red Sea aflame the result of which will a complete destruction of 'our clients', the Sunnis. The Christians of Lebanon and beyond have learned the lesson; they will not confront the Hezbollah and other Shia's for the sake of the Sunnis of the region. Also, it is not in the interest of Israel to see the Salafi-Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Sunnis emerge victorious.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 21, 2012 10:10 AM
85% to 15%, is this true? Is it some supporter's imagination? Is the West interested in democracy out there or is there something else at stake if there be some still speaking like this for Syria and Assad? But even though Ibrahim thinks like this, neither Russia nor China who staunchly support Assad has painted this picture if it really exists. No, it can't be true! What is lacking is the courage for the people to reach out to Israel to help out, and the problem will be over overnight. Let someone take the initiative and enlist Israel's help and you'll see how it works like magic the much needed liberation in the ME, not Lebanon or Turkey.

by: Ken from: Peoria, Arizona
July 20, 2012 10:04 PM
Cool! Get all the rag heads involved, they can cancel each other out.

by: UN-SCUM from: USA
July 20, 2012 9:12 PM
really...? what a surprise...!!! hey, Arabs, we are used to hear cries of Massacre from Muslimes... so what...? you want us to intervene...?? really? after you so cowardly planted roadside bombs against our troops in Iraq..???

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More