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 Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf 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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs