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CrisisWatch Lebanon

Unchanged Situation

Army 19 Aug launched offensive against Islamic State (ISIS) militants in control of pocket straddling Syrian-Lebanese border. Syrian army and Hizbollah same day said they had begun joint operation against same ISIS group from Syrian side of border. Lebanese army said its operation not in coordination with Syria or Hizbollah. ISIS 27 Aug agreed ceasefire with army, and same day agreed separate ceasefire with Hizbollah and Syrian army; ISIS fighters and their families 28 Aug began withdrawal from border region to eastern Syria, however U.S. airstrikes in Syria 30 Aug blocked convoy before it reached ISIS-held territory (see Syria). Following ceasefire deal late July between Lebanese army, Hizbollah and Salafi-jihadist group Fath al-Sham, transfer of some 9,000 people, including Fath al-Sham militants and Syrian refugees, from Jroud Arsal in north east to Syria’s Idlib province completed early Aug; Hizbollah and Fath al-Sham also exchanged prisoners. Under similar deal some 300 fighters from smaller local faction Saraya Ahl al-Sham and their families 14 Aug began withdrawal from pocket near Syrian border reportedly to Syria. UN and rights groups voiced concerns that repatriations of refugees were not consensual nor met international legal standards. Army 7 Aug shelled ISIS positions in Syria after group reportedly fired seven rockets from Syria into Lebanon near al-Qaa in north east, causing no casualties. Clashes between Palestinian security forces and Islamist militants in Aïn el-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp in south 17-23 Aug killed at least five.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

14 Mar 2017
Despite [Hizbollah’s] claim of aiming for a negotiated settlement [in Syria], they are continuing to bet on a maximalist position, on victory. The Daily Star

Sahar Atrache

Former Senior Analyst, Lebanon
20 Dec 2016
After [Hezbollah] had completely entered the fight in Syria, the group was able to convince Shia, but also other communities ... that this is an existential fight and that you have to go all the way. Al Jazeera

Sahar Atrache

Former Senior Analyst, Lebanon
29 Oct 2016
Aoun's election [as president of Lebanon] is not a magic wand. Certainly the presidential vacancy will end, but it doesn't solve the political crisis, or the stagnant political institutions or the major divisions over domestic and foreign issues, particularly the war in Syria. AFP

Sahar Atrache

Former Senior Analyst, Lebanon

Latest Updates

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In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Lebanon Analyst Sahar Atrache explains the background and significance of the attack. 

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Lebanon is surviving internal and regional strains remarkably well, but this resilience has become an excuse for tolerating political dysfunction. If the Lebanese political class does not take immediate steps like holding long-overdue elections, fighting corruption and promoting the rule of law, its complacency will only make an eventual fall harder and costlier.

Also available in العربية

Lebanon’s Resilience under the Weight of Syria’s War

Crisis Group Lebanon Senior Analyst Sahar Atrache discusses how Lebanon remains resilient in the face of Syria’s violent collapse – at least for now.

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Sahar Atrache

Former Senior Analyst, Lebanon