Latest Lebanon News

  • Islamic State urges followers to escalate attacks in Ramadan Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    By Ali Abdelaty and and Suleiman al-Khalidi CAIRO/AMMAN (Reuters) - Islamic State urged its followers on Tuesday to escalate attacks against Christians, Shi'ites and Sunni Muslims fighting with a U.S.-led coalition against the ultra-radical group. Jihadists should turn the holy month of Ramadan, which began last week, into a time of "calamity for the infidels ... Shi'ites and apostate Muslims", Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said in an audio message. "Be keen to conquer in this holy month and to become exposed to martyrdom." Adnani also called on Sunnis in Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia to rise against "tyrannical leaders" and warned them against advancing Shi'ites, pointing to the treatment of Sunnis under a Shi'ite-led government in Iraq and in Syria under the Alawites, the Shi'ite offshoot to which President Bashar al Assad belongs. More »

  • Druze violence over Syria poses dilemma for Israel Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    By Maayan Lubell JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Throughout Syria's civil war, Israel has contended with bullets and mortars straying across its northern border. After four years of keeping to the sidelines, Israel's position is becoming more precarious, particularly as it relates to the Druze community, a threatened people inside Syria and a vocal one across the frontier. The Druze are a religious group who live as minorities across much of the region, with the biggest communities in Syria and Lebanon. More »

  • Arrests after Lebanon guards shown beating prisoners
    Arrests after Lebanon guards shown beating prisoners Sun, Jun 21, 2015

    Lebanon's Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi pledged a full investigation and announced two arrests on Sunday after video emerged showing guards beating detainees at the country's largest and most infamous prison. More »

  • Israel strike Lebanese remote area to destroy drone - Hezbollah TV Sun, Jun 21, 2015

    An Israeli war plane struck a remote area in Lebanon's western Bekaa region on Sunday to destroy a downed Israeli drone, al-Manar television, which is run by Hezbollah militant group, said. An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment when asked about the explosion. A Lebanese security source told Reuters that the cause of the blast, which occurred in a mountainous area near the town of Saghbein, "is still not 100 percent clear but most probably it was an Israeli air strike to destroy their drone." It was not clear if there were casualties. More »

  • Israel raid destroys own crashed drone in Lebanon: security source
    Israel raid destroys own crashed drone in Lebanon: security source Sun, Jun 21, 2015

    Israel carried out an air strike in eastern Lebanon on Sunday targeting a drone belonging to the Jewish state that crashed in the area, a security source told AFP. More »

  • Two killed in factional clash at Palestinian camp in Lebanon Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    Two people were killed in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon on Thursday in a clash between hardline Islamists and members of the mainstream Palestinian faction Fatah, security sources said. The shootout in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon spiralled from a dispute between individuals affiliated to the two sides, the sources said. Ain al-Hilweh is Lebanon's biggest Palestinian camp. More »

  • Amnesty says world neglects Syrian refugees' plight, urges more open bo … Mon, Jun 15, 2015

    (Reuters) - Amnesty International criticised on Monday what it said was a "dismal" global response to the plight of Syrian refugees and urged neighbouring countries struggling to cope with the influx of refugees to lift "deeply troubling" measures designed to keep them out. The human rights organisation said the failure of the international community to adequately fund refugees' humanitarian needs or to support their host countries through settlement policies has left Syria's neighbours unable to cope with a "devastating effect." In a report entitled "Global Refugee Crisis: A conspiracy of Neglect", Amnesty said Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey after having taken in over four million Syrians since the conflict started in 2011 were now closing their borders. More »

  • Syrian Druze join battle to push back rebels in south Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    By Tom Perry BEIRUT (Reuters) - Members of Syria's Druze minority have helped repel a rebel attack on an army base in the south, mobilising to confront insurgents including al Qaeda's Nusra Front who are trying to build on gains against President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organisation that tracks the war, said on Friday rebels had been driven from the base, which they had partly captured on Thursday, by air strikes and Druze fighters from nearby Sweida. Spread between Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan, the Druze are viewed as heretics by al Qaeda and Islamic State because of their religion, an offshoot of Islam incorporating elements of other faiths. More »

  • Calls for aid to Syria's Druze after al Qaeda kills 20 Thu, Jun 11, 2015

    By Tom Perry and Suleiman Al-Khalidi BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) - Fighters from Syria's al Qaeda branch, the Nusra Front, have killed at least 20 Druze villagers, raising fear for one of Syria's minorities as insurgents including Sunni Islamists gain ground against President Bashar al-Assad. Druze in Lebanon and Israel have made separate appeals for their Syrian kin to be armed to defend themselves from groups such as Nusra and the more powerful Islamic State, which has persecuted both minorities and fellow Sunnis. More »

  • Hezbollah announces battle with IS on Syria-Lebanon border
    Hezbollah announces battle with IS on Syria-Lebanon border Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    The head of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement announced Wednesday that the powerful Shiite militia had begun to fight the Islamic State jihadist group along the rugged Syrian-Lebanese border. More »

  • Lebanon receives US missiles for anti-jihadist fight
    Lebanon receives US missiles for anti-jihadist fight Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    Lebanese and American officials gathered Wednesday to mark the delivery of more than 200 anti-tank missiles the United States says will help Lebanon's army defend its borders against terrorists. More »

  • Hezbollah vows to displace 'millions' in Israel if Lebanon attacked
    Hezbollah vows to displace 'millions' in Israel if Lebanon attacked Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    The head of Lebanon's powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah threatened on Friday that his group would displace "millions" in Israel if the Jewish state attacks Lebanon. More »

  • Lebanese minister extends term of security chief, sparking row Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    By Laila Bassam BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's interior minister extended the term of the head of the internal security forces on Thursday without securing cross-party agreement, avoiding a vacuum at the top of a major security agency but triggering a political row. Government in Lebanon has been largely paralysed by the repercussions of the war in Syria. Lebanon's fractious politicians have been unable to make any major decisions, including important appointments in security agencies. More »

  • Hezbollah widens offensive in Syria border area, seizes hilltops Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    Hezbollah has seized ground from insurgents near the Lebanon-Syria border, the group said on Wednesday, widening its joint offensive with the Syrian army to try to clear the area of militant groups including al Qaeda's Syrian wing. The Iran-backed Lebanese group said in a statement its fighters had seized three hilltops in the mountainous area east of the Lebanese town of Arsal, the target of an incursion last August by the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and Islamic State. Hezbollah fighters were now advancing towards a strategically important peak, it said. More »

  • Lebanon minister accused of carrying explosives faces retrial
    Lebanon minister accused of carrying explosives faces retrial Tue, Jun 2, 2015

    Lebanon's highest appeals court ordered Tuesday the retrial of a former cabinet after overturning a four-and-a-half year sentence against him for transporting explosives. More »

  • Baby killed in fire at Syria refugee camp in Lebanon
    Baby killed in fire at Syria refugee camp in Lebanon Mon, Jun 1, 2015

    A fire ripped through an unofficial Syrian refugee camp in eastern Lebanon on Monday, killing a baby and injuring several others, a Red Cross official told AFP. More »

  • At least four people killed in fire at Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon Mon, Jun 1, 2015

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least four people were killed when dozens of tents at a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley caught fire on Monday, witnesses said. Security sources initially said six people were killed. The witnesses who were in the camp said that four people including three children were killed and two remained missing. At least 160 of the roughly 300 tents, which housed around 600 people, were burnt, humanitarian sources said, adding that the cause of the fire was not immediately known. ... More »

  • Cyprus police probe Israel link in ammonium nitrate haul - media Fri, May 29, 2015

    Cypriot police suspect a man arrested on Wednesday was planning an attack on Israeli interests on the island after they found almost two tonnes of ammonium nitrate in his basement, newspapers reported on Friday. Authorities are investigating possible links to Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, which views Israel as its arch enemy, three Cypriot newspapers said on Friday. Police suspect Israeli interests were the target, the Simerini, Politis and Phileleftheros newspapers said. More »

  • U.S. praises Saudis for imposing sanctions on Hezbollah officials Wed, May 27, 2015

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday commended Saudi Arabia for imposing sanctions on two senior officials of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon and designating them as terrorists. The United States designated the two officials, Khalil Youssef Harb and Mohammed Qabalan, in 2013 for overseeing "violent operations" in the Middle East. "Today's step taken by Saudi Arabia reflects the close counter-terrorism and information sharing cooperation we enjoy and look forward to extending further," said Adam Szubin, U.S. ... More »

  • British ex-PM Brown in UN appeal for Syrian students
    British ex-PM Brown in UN appeal for Syrian students Tue, May 26, 2015

    British ex-prime minister Gordon Brown launched an appeal Tuesday in his role as UN education envoy to raise $100 million in aid for Syrian students who have taken refuge in Lebanon. More »

  • U.N. urges Lebanon to pick president, end political vacuum
    U.N. urges Lebanon to pick president, end political vacuum Mon, May 25, 2015

    A United Nations envoy urged Lebanon's feuding political leaders to pick a new president, warning on Monday that the country's year-long power vacuum had undermined its ability to deal with the impact of the Syrian crisis and a host of other problems. Lebanese politics has long been dogged by sectarian divisions and personal rivalries but the war next door has exacerbated divisions even further. "I urge Lebanon's leaders ... to put national interests above partisan politics for the sake of Lebanon's stability, and to show the flexibility and sense of urgency needed to resolve this issue," U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag said in a statement marking one year without a president. More »

  • Hezbollah captures hilltops from al Qaeda's Syria wing - Al-Manar TV Mon, May 25, 2015

    Hezbollah fighters have captured two hilltops from al Qaeda's Syria wing Nusra Front in areas close to the Lebanese border and have killed dozens of enemy combatants, Hezbollah-run al-Manar television reported on Monday. It said in a newsflash that the Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group had captured the hilltops of Quba'a and Naqar in Syria's southwestern Quinetra province, which lies in sensitive territory close to Lebanon and Israel. Iranian-backed Hezbollah has backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country's civil war. More »