Latest Lebanon News

  • Hezbollah mourns top commander killed in Syria Mon, Oct 12, 2015

    Lebanese group Hezbollah mourned one of its top commanders who was killed fighting alongside Syrian army forces in Idlib province, in a funeral procession broadcast live on Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on Monday. Pallbearers dressed in camouflage military fatigues processed slowly to solemn trumpet music with the coffin of Hassan al-Haj, a veteran commander of the Shi'ite movement, which was draped in a yellow Hezbollah flag. The coffin was then driven through towns in southern Lebanon, Hebzollah's stronghold, in a convoy of black cars and ambulances. More »

  • U.N., World Bank to launch refugee and reconstruction bonds
    U.N., World Bank to launch refugee and reconstruction bonds Sun, Oct 11, 2015

    International agencies plan to raise billions of dollars to tackle the worsening refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa by issuing new bonds to help displaced people and support reconstruction in the war-torn region. The United Nations, World Bank and Islamic Development Bank announced the proposal on Saturday after global policymakers met to discuss ways to ease the growing humanitarian and economic crisis stemming from conflicts in countries including Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said more than 15 million people had fled their homes, sending a massive influx of refugees into countries like Lebanon and Jordan. More »

  • Watch Homeland season 5 episode 2 online: Carrie, Saul and Quinn's lives …
    Watch Homeland season 5 episode 2 online: Carrie, Saul and Quinn's lives … Sat, Oct 10, 2015

    Homeland season 5 premiere may have introduced us to a Carrie Mathison as an ex-CIA agent, but soon her life will turn into a war zone, as she and her German boss visit a Hezbollah-controlled refugee camp on the Lebanon-Syria border. According to the official synopsis, "Carrie and Düring visit a refugee camp. Saul and Allison are at odds." Click here to watch the episode online. More »

  • Two alleged Hezbollah associates face U.S. arms, money laundering charges Fri, Oct 9, 2015

    By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two Beirut residents have been arrested on U.S. charges that they took part in an alleged scheme to help Hezbollah launder drug money, and to funnel thousands of weapons and military parts to criminal groups in Lebanon and Iran, prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, said on Friday. Iman Kobeissi, 50, was arraigned in Brooklyn on Friday and held without bail, following her arrest a day earlier in Atlanta on charges of conspiring to commit money laundering and conspiring to deal in unlicensed firearms. The other defendant, Joseph Asmar, 42, was arrested in Paris on a U.S. warrant and charged with money laundering conspiracy. More »

  • U.S. supplies 'precision' shells to Lebanon to help it defend border … Fri, Oct 9, 2015

    The United States is providing the Lebanese army with a consignment of laser-guided artillery shells in an $8.6 million arms package intended to help Lebanon defend against cross-border incursions from Syria, the U.S. embassy said on Friday. The package, which includes 50 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and 560 artillery rounds including the "precision munitions", will boost the Lebanese army's ability "to secure Lebanon's borders against violent extremists," it said in a statement. Lebanon, which is still rebuilding after its own 15-year civil war, has seen clashes between gunmen loyal to opposing sides in the Syrian conflict, as well as strikes on the army and cross-border attacks by Syrian rebels. More »

  • Russian missiles aimed at Syria crashed in Iran: US official
    Russian missiles aimed at Syria crashed in Iran: US official Fri, Oct 9, 2015

    Four Russian cruise missiles aimed at targets in Syria crashed in Iran, a US official said Thursday, as regime troops backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah pressed a "vast offensive" against rebels in the war-torn country's west. More »

  • Fresh garbage protests in Lebanon as disease fears grow
    Fresh garbage protests in Lebanon as disease fears grow Thu, Oct 8, 2015

    Hundreds of demonstrators gathered Thursday night in downtown Beirut in fresh protests against Lebanon's ruling elite and a months-long garbage crisis that activists warn has become a menace to public health. More »

  • Syria army in 'vast offensive' backed by Russian strikes
    Syria army in 'vast offensive' backed by Russian strikes Thu, Oct 8, 2015

    Regime troops backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah and Russian air strikes advanced Thursday in western Syria in a "vast offensive" against rebels, as NATO voiced alarm at Moscow's escalating military activity in the country. More »

  • Beirut protest turns violent, politicians postpone talks
    Beirut protest turns violent, politicians postpone talks Thu, Oct 8, 2015

    By Sylvia Westall BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water canon to break up an anti-government protest in Beirut on Thursday, and the country's fractious leaders postponed talks aimed at resolving a political crisis that is feeding public discontent. Anger at Lebanon's government has fuelled repeated protests in recent months. Protesters threw projectiles including rocks at a line of riot police blocking the way to the Lebanese parliament in Beirut's commercial district. More »

  • Talks between Lebanese political rivals postponed on final day Thu, Oct 8, 2015

    Lebanon's parliament speaker cancelled the last day of this week's meeting aimed at discussing ways out of a political crisis after politicians made no progress on issues including high-level security appointments, the National News Agency said. The three-day "national dialogue" called by Nabih Berri started on Tuesday and was aimed at finding solutions to a stalemate that has paralysed government and helped fuel weeks of street protests. The talks were set to run into Thursday but Berri postponed the next session until Oct. 26. More »

  • EU talks tough on deportations amid flood of Syrian refugees
    EU talks tough on deportations amid flood of Syrian refugees Wed, Oct 7, 2015

    By Alastair Macdonald LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - European Union governments are set to agree on Thursday to step up deportations of illegal immigrants among the hundreds of thousands who have failed to win asylum as they try to cope with a surge in refugees from war-torn Syria. Diplomats say interior ministers meeting in Luxembourg should agree, among other things, to back the detention of those who may abscond before expulsion and exert more pressure on African and other poor states, including via aid budgets, to make them accept the return of citizens refused entry to Europe. In the evening, they will be joined by EU foreign ministers and delegations from Balkan states, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon for talks on stemming migrant flows that have plunged the bloc into crisis, dividing members over how to secure the EU external borders and how to share responsibility for housing refugees. More »

  • Sursock reborn as Beirut's first interactive museum
    Sursock reborn as Beirut's first interactive museum Wed, Oct 7, 2015

    From nighttime walks around the city to workshops on art conservation, Beirut's grandiose Sursock Museum reopens this week as Lebanon's first interactive museum of contemporary art. More »

  • Russian strikes were planned for months - Syria minister Mon, Oct 5, 2015

    Russian airstrikes in Syria had been planned months in advance and will be successful because of their coordination with the Syrian military, Syria's foreign minister was quoted as saying by state news agency SANA on Monday. "Without a doubt, Russia will win this race," Walid al-Moualem said in an interview with Lebanon-based channel al-Mayadeen, according to a preview of his comments published on SANA. "I have no doubt at all and the reason behind that is practical and simple, it is because Russia is coordinating with the Syrian Arab Army, which is the only force in Syria that is confronting terrorism," Moualem said. More »

  • Bomb in Lebanon targets bus heading to Syria, no casualties Mon, Oct 5, 2015

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - A bomb went off in Lebanon on Monday targeting a minibus transporting passengers to Syria, and a second explosive device was found near a Lebanese customs office at the Syrian-Lebanese border and defused, a security source said. There were no casualties from the roadside explosion near the bus in the town of Chtaura in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, the source said. (Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Toby Chopra) More »

  • U.N. forced to halt planned humanitarian work under Syria ceasefire deal Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations has been forced to suspend planned humanitarian operations in Syria under a ceasefire agreement due to a "surge of military activity", a spokeswoman for U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said on Friday. Aid activities including evacuations of wounded had been planned in Zabadani, a town surrounded by pro-government forces near the Lebanon border, and in rebel-besieged Shi'ite villages in the northwestern province of Idlib in a deal agreed with U.N. help and backed by Iran and Turkey. "The U.N. calls on all concerned parties to fulfil their responsibilities in the protection of civilians and reach the necessary understandings in order to implement this agreement as soon as possible," De Mistura's office said in a statement that made no explicit reference to Russia's bombing in Syria for a third day. More »

  • Russia jets strike Islamic State in northern Syria - al-Mayadeen TV Thu, Oct 1, 2015

    Russian warplanes bombed an airbase in northern Syria on Thursday in what appeared to be Russia's first strikes on a known Islamic State-held target, as well as other areas in the west and east of the country, al-Mayadeen TV said. The strikes hit areas including Tabqa airbase in Raqqa province, an Islamic State stronghold, the channel said in a newsflash citing its correspondent. Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen has good contacts in Syria. More »

  • Assad allies, including Iranians, prepare ground attack in Syria: sources Thu, Oct 1, 2015

    Hundreds of Iranian troops arrived in Syria 10 days ago with weapons to take part in ground operations in rebel-held areas of northern Syria, and Lebanon's ally Hezbollah is preparing to join the operation, Lebanese sources told Reuters on Thursday. The ground operation together with the Syrian army would accompany air strikes mounted by the Russian air force, the sources who were briefed on the matter said. More »

  • Senior Iran diplomat missing after hajj tragedy
    Senior Iran diplomat missing after hajj tragedy Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    A senior Iranian diplomat and former ambassador to Lebanon is missing after the deadly stampede at last week's hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, officials in Tehran said on Wednesday. More »

  • Lebanon arrests 40 Palestinians leaving for Europe Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    Lebanese security forces arrested 40 Palestinians on Wednesday as they tried to leave by boat from the northern city of Tripoli for a journey towards Europe, the National News Agency said. The group, which included men and women, was aiming to reach Germany and had come from the large, long-established Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon's south, NNA said. There was no immediate comment from Lebanese justice authorities, but it is an offence to enter Tripoli's port area without a security clearance or ferry ticket. More »

  • Lebanon activists block ministry in electricity protest
    Lebanon activists block ministry in electricity protest Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    Dozens of protesters blocked access to Lebanon's energy ministry early on Tuesday in a surprise demonstration against the notoriously ineffective and costly electricity sector. More »

  • As insults fly, Iran-Saudi haj row aggravates regional rifts
    As insults fly, Iran-Saudi haj row aggravates regional rifts Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin and Noah Browning DUBAI (Reuters) - For regional adversaries at loggerheads over the crises in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the disaster at the haj is unlikely to be a game changer in the contest between Iran and Saudi Arabia, merely adding venom to their mutual acrimony. While the Gulf rivals have managed to put aside bad blood after past flare-ups, such moments of detente happened in a much more stable Middle East, years before turmoil in Iraq and Arab Spring uprisings unleashed sectarian hatreds across the region. Today, Iranian and Saudi participation would be crucial in stabilising Iraq, Syria, Yemen or Lebanon, where the two sides back sectarian proxy forces that are either at daggers drawn or openly at war in conflicts killing thousands each month. More »

  • Two wounded rebels evacuated from Syria under ceasefire deal - monitor Sun, Sep 27, 2015

    Two wounded rebel fighters were evacuated to Lebanon on Sunday from a Syrian town surrounded by pro-government forces, a monitoring organisation said, in the first sign that a local ceasefire agreement is being implemented. A U.N. vehicle transported the two fighters, as well as the father of one of them, from the Syrian town of Zabadani to Lebanon, after an agreement with government forces and Damascus ally Hezbollah to grant safe passage, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The ceasefire deal, restricted to two areas in Syria, was reached with help from the United Nations and involvement by Iran, which supports the government of President Bashar al-Assad, and Turkey, which backs the rebels fighting against it. More »