WASHINGTON — The Syrian civil war has more consequences than previously thought as a spillover effect is threatening to destabilize Lebanon.
Reuters reports that a Lebanese town mayor was shot and two of his colleagues were killed. This could signal a rise in sectarian (or religious) tensions and conflicts within Lebanon.
The mayor, Ali Hujeiri, had just overseen a hostage swap with a rival clan and was on his way back home. He is expected to survive as his wounds were not life-threatening. He is the mayor of the Sunni town of Arsal and was in the Shi’a town of Labweh.
Spillover from the Syrian civil war has led to inter-religious strife and divisions, which are already tenuous to begin with. After Hezbollah’s entrance into the civil war on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, protests and violence ensued and threatened to tear the country apart.
The religious split is because Sunni Muslims support the rebels and Shi’a Muslims back the Assad regime and Hezbollah.