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

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

Report: US to Sail Warships Near Disputed S. China Sea Islands

Move will signal nonrecognition of Chinese territorial claims over area, Financial Times reports, citing senior US official More

Study Describes Ancient Deltas, Lakes on Mars

Research builds on recent NASA announcement that water flows on red planet today More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanoni
John Owens
October 08, 2015 7:32 PM
Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs