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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs