Latest Lebanon News

  • On Syria-Lebanon border, Hezbollah in 'hardest' battle
    On Syria-Lebanon border, Hezbollah in 'hardest' battle Thu, May 21, 2015

    On a windy hilltop overlooking the mountainous Syrian border, a fighter from Lebanon's Hezbollah says the battle against militants in the area is among the toughest the group has ever faced. More »

  • All that glitters not TV gold for 'Lebanon's Kardashians'
    All that glitters not TV gold for 'Lebanon's Kardashians' Tue, May 19, 2015

    They were touted as Lebanon's answer to reality TV icons the Kardashians, but the stars of "The Sisters" have been dismissed as not only unrepresentative but even worse -- boring. More »

  • Assad, under pressure, may need his friends more than ever
    Assad, under pressure, may need his friends more than ever Mon, May 18, 2015

    By Laila Bassam and Tom Perry QALAMOUN MOUNTAINS, Syria/BEIRUT (Reuters) - When Lebanon's Hezbollah first joined Syria's war on the side of President Bashar al-Assad, its role was a closely guarded secret. Today, as Hezbollah plants its flag in land won from rebels north of Damascus, its role could hardly be more public. In the last week, the Iranian-backed guerrilla group has unleashed its powerful arsenal to drive insurgents from wide areas of the Qalamoun mountain range, a short drive from Assad's seat of power in Damascus. More »

  • Judge orders retrial of Lebanese ex-minister in Syria plot Mon, May 18, 2015

    A Lebanese judge ordered a retrial of a former minister on Monday who was sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison last week for smuggling explosives into Lebanon from Syria and planning terrorist attacks. The sentencing of Michel Samaha, who is close to the Syrian government, drew harsh criticism from Lebanese politicians and members of the public who considered his punishment too lenient. He was sentenced on Wednesday by a military court after confessing last month to the charges and giving details of the plot allegedly devised with Syria's security chief, Ali Mamlouk. Samaha's trial reflects how the crisis in Syria is rippling through a country where Damascus has played a major role for decades and whose future will be shaped by the outcome of the four-year conflict next door. More »

  • Hezbollah making gains on Lebanon-Syria border: Nasrallah
    Hezbollah making gains on Lebanon-Syria border: Nasrallah Sat, May 16, 2015

    Hezbollah's chief said Saturday his Shiite movement had expelled Syrian opposition fighters from most of Syria's Qalamun region bordering Lebanon but the battle was not over. More »

  • Hezbollah, Syrian army make big gains in border battle
    Hezbollah, Syrian army make big gains in border battle Wed, May 13, 2015

    By Tom Perry, Mariam Karouny and Laila Bassam BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's Hezbollah and Syria's army made big advances against insurgents in mountains north of Damascus on Wednesday, Hezbollah and Syrian state media said, shoring up President Bashar al-Assad's grip on the border zone. The gains in the crucial Qalamoun region close to Lebanon against groups including the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front follow significant defeats for Assad elsewhere, notably in Syria's northwest near the Turkish border. Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shi'ite group with a powerful militia, has been a vital ally for Assad in the four-year-long conflict that has become a focal point for the struggle between Tehran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, which has backed the insurgency. More »

  • Israel gets into gritty detail to warn off Hezbollah Wed, May 13, 2015

    By Dan Williams TEL AVIV (Reuters) - An Israeli official made unusually detailed allegations on Wednesday of secret Hezbollah guerrilla sites in Lebanese villages, driving home its warning that civilians there risk bearing the brunt of any future war. Though neither side appears keen on coming to blows, Hezbollah has been building up its arsenal since the last, inconclusive conflict of 2006 and Israel regards the Iranian-backed Shi'ite guerrillas as its most immediate threat. Worried that thousands of precision-guided Hezbollah rockets could paralyse their vital infrastructure, Israeli planners have long threatened to launch a blitz against suspected launchers in Lebanon, even if that means harming civilians. A senior Israeli intelligence official took the unusual step on Wednesday of showing foreign correspondents aerial photographs of two Lebanese border villages, Muhaybib and Shaqra, with dozens of locations of alleged rocket silos, guerrilla tunnels, and anti-tank and gun nests marked out. More »

  • Syrian army, allies seize strategic hill on Lebanon-Syria border Wed, May 13, 2015

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters seized on Wednesday a strategic hill seen as the most important target in an offensive along the Lebanon-Syria border, Hezbollah said. By seizing Talat Moussa, Hezbollah would have scored a significant advance in its offensive to drive insurgents including members of the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front from the Qalamoun mountain range. "The Syrian army and the resistance fighters totally control the hill," the group said. (Writing by Mariam Karouny) More »

  • Lebanon's Hezbollah says it killed 20 Syrian al Qaeda militants Sun, May 10, 2015

    BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) - The Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah said on Sunday it had killed over 20 fighters from Syria's al Qaeda wing and destroyed several hideouts and training camps the fighters had set up to launch attacks in Lebanon across the rugged border with Syria. Hezbollah's television station, Manar, said the Syrian army and the resistance, a reference to Hezbollah, had made "important progress" in their latest assault against Syrian militants opposed to Syrian President Bashar al Assad's rule. Hezbollah's leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, vowed on Tuesday that his forces and their Syrian allies would clear the rebels out of the region, which insurgents use as a supply route for arms and fighters. More »

  • Syrian army, Hezbollah advance in areas along Lebanon border Thu, May 7, 2015

    By Laila Bassam and Suleiman Al-Khalidi BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian army bombing in the mountainous area along the border with Lebanon killed dozens of insurgents and helped regain hilly territory overlooking Hezbollah strongholds, the Lebanese group said on Thursday. For years, hideouts in the Qalamoun mountains have allowed al Qaeda-linked insurgents to attack Syrian soldiers and fighters from Hezbollah, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, along miles of borderland in eastern Lebanon. The Syrian military backed by Hezbollah fighters captured the strategically important territory known as Assal al-Ward on the Syrian side of the border, after retaking Qarna Heights, a Hezbollah official told Reuters, both in the 100-km (60-mile) Qalamoun range. More »

  • Syrian army kills dozens of rebels near Lebanon border -Manar TV Thu, May 7, 2015

    AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian army bombing in the mountainous area along the border with Lebanon killed dozens of insurgents and helped Hezbollah fighters reclaim territory there known as the Qarna Heights, the Shi'ite Muslim group's Manar television said on Thursday. The al Qaeda-linked rebels, encamped in the Qalamoun mountains, have been attacking the Syrian army and fighters from Hezbollah, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, which has sent hundreds to fight alongside his forces. ... More »

  • Hezbollah fighters attack Syrian al Qaeda gathering along border Wed, May 6, 2015

    Lebanese Hezbollah militants attacked a gathering of leaders of al Qaeda's Syrian branch and other insurgents in an area along Lebanon's eastern border with Syria on Wednesday, killing three of them, the group's television channel said. Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, has sent hundreds of combatants to fight alongside his forces. The television channel said the operation against Nusra Front took place in a rugged mountainous area along the border that has witnessed frequent clashes. More »

  • Hezbollah says will attack Nusra Front inside Syria
    Hezbollah says will attack Nusra Front inside Syria Tue, May 5, 2015

    By Mariam Karouny and Laila Bassam BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hezbollah's leader said on Tuesday his Lebanon-based militant group will launch an attack inside Syria against al Qaeda-linked insurgents in the mountain region along the countries' border. Local media and Syrian opposition have speculated that such an assault could start within days in the Qalamoun area, and Hezbollah fighters clashed with gunmen from the same Syria-based insurgent group, Nusra Front, in a different border zone on Tuesday. The attack "will announce itself when it happens," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech. The Shi'ite Muslim group is a staunch ally of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and has sent hundreds of combatants to fight alongside his forces in the four-year civil war. More »

  • Nasrallah vows to oust militants on Lebanon-Syria border
    Nasrallah vows to oust militants on Lebanon-Syria border Tue, May 5, 2015

    The head of Lebanon's Hezbollah vowed Tuesday his militant group would oust militants from a region on the border with Syria, but declined to say when the assault might happen. More »

  • Hezbollah clashes with Nusra Front on Lebanon-Syria border Tue, May 5, 2015

    Hezbollah fighters and gunmen from al Qaeda's Syria wing Nusra Front clashed on Tuesday in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria, Hezbollah's television channel and a military source in the Lebanese group said. The source said the group ambushed Nusra fighters in "advanced positions" in the outskirts of the mountain towns of Toufeil and Britel. Nusra Front fighters have regularly been active in areas close to the Syrian border and have targeted Hezbollah and Lebanese army positions in the past. Al-Manar TV said Hezbollah fighters destroyed five military vehicles for Nusra Front and killed at least 12 fighters. More »

  • A century on, Lebanon rediscovers deadly famine
    A century on, Lebanon rediscovers deadly famine Tue, May 5, 2015

    Lebanon is rediscovering a century-old tragedy that most had forgotten -- a devastating famine, caused by blockades and a locust infestation, that killed a third of its population. More »

  • Lebanon's last overland route closure chokes off exports
    Lebanon's last overland route closure chokes off exports Sun, May 3, 2015

    Lebanon's land exports to Gulf markets have been choked off, leaving millions of dollars in goods stranded after the closure of a vital crossing on the Syrian-Jordanian border last month. More »

  • Lebanese army says received bodies of two killed by militants Fri, May 1, 2015

    Lebanon's army said on Friday it had received the bodies of two people killed by militants and that their identities were being checked, but it gave no details on which group had delivered them. Earlier on Friday, LBC television and other local media had reported that Islamic State had handed over the bodies of a civilian and a soldier who were killed last year on the outskirts of Arsal, a town near the Syrian border. If it was Islamic State, that would be the first time that the hardline group had cooperated with the army to hand over bodies. Sunni Muslim groups fighting in Syria's civil war have also been active across the border in Lebanon. More »

  • Salma Hayek launches 'The Prophet' in ancestral Lebanon
    Salma Hayek launches 'The Prophet' in ancestral Lebanon Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    Hollywood star Salma Hayek, in her ancestral homeland Lebanon for the first time, launched the global premiere of her animated adaptation of Kahlil Gibran's celebrated novel "The Prophet" on Monday. More »

  • Syrian bands rock Beirut's alternative music scene
    Syrian bands rock Beirut's alternative music scene Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    Syrian rock bands fleeing war are finding safety and new fans in neighbouring Lebanon, where they are revitalising a Westernised scene with their focus on Arabic musical heritage. More »

  • Syria's former spy chief dies in unclear circumstances - source
    Syria's former spy chief dies in unclear circumstances - source Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) - Rustom Ghazali, Syria's last chief of intelligence in Lebanon who was a suspect in the killing of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, has died in Damascus, Lebanese media reported. A Lebanese source with ties to Damascus also said that Ghazali had died on Friday. Ghazali, in his 60s, succeeded Ghazi Kanaan as head of military intelligence in Lebanon in 2002 during Syria's tutelage over Lebanon, which lasted until Damascus pulled its troops from the country in 2005. More »

  • In exile, Syrian Armenians feel echoes of genocide
    In exile, Syrian Armenians feel echoes of genocide Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    For thousands of Syrian Armenian refugees in Lebanon, the slaughter and expulsion of their ancestors a century ago is less a historical event than an ongoing trauma. More »