WASHINGTON — As Hezbollah officially enter the Syrian civil war, Lebanese protesters went to picket and protest outside the Iranian embassy in the capital city of Beirut. Reuters reports that at least one unarmed protester was killed.
After protesting, black-clad Hezbollah militants opened fire, killed one and wounded several others. The others scattered while the Lebanese army came to cordon off the neighborhood with barriers and tanks.
Hezbollah is funded by Iran and the U.S. considers it a terrorist organization. It had hinted at entering the civil war, but until dozens of its fighters were killed in a border clash in the city of Qusair, Syria, it had stayed out of the fight.
Iran had continued to issue public support and rhetoric in favor of Syria and its dictatorial president Bashar al-Assad, in addition to sending military arms shipments.
Lebanon has long been dominated by its neighbor Syria and Hezbollah, and up until the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, had a tenuous peace. Now, it looks like Lebanon might explode again in renewed violence along religious and ethnic lines.
Israel said it will not intervene in Syria unless it is absolutely necessary to, even after its air strike destroyed a Syrian compound in May. Meanwhile, the United Nations (U.N.) has urged the West to intervene and help alleviate the suffering of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.