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Lebanon

CrisisWatch Lebanon

Unchanged Situation

Israel 4 Dec launched Operation Northern Shield to uncover and destroy tunnels allegedly dug by Hizbollah in Lebanon which cross into Israeli territory. UN mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL) 17 Dec expressed “serious concern” as two of four confirmed tunnels crossed “Blue Line” border demarcation, violating UN Security Council Resolution 1701. Hizbollah 9 Dec asserted its missiles could hit anywhere in Israel. Israeli delegation 10 Dec visited Moscow and confirmed Israel will continue operations against arms transfers from Iran to Hizbollah via Syria. Prospects for govt formation improved when President Aoun 18 Dec reportedly agreed to appoint independent Sunni minister as part of his bloc in govt, which could satisfy Hizbollah’s demand that one minister represent independent Sunnis. New disputes over Sunni representative halted efforts to finalise deal, triggering protests 16-26 Dec across country with scuffles between demonstrators and soldiers. Syrian refugees continued to return from Lebanon to Syria through govt-run programs at Masnaa, al-Zamarani and Abboudieh border crossings in centre and north, including around 1,000 6 Dec.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

21 Feb 2018
[The Trump administration] is content allowing Israel to take the lead in pushing back against Iranian and Hezbollah influence in Syria. The Washington Times

Robert Malley

President & CEO
9 Feb 2018
The real risk [for Israel and Lebanon] is that of a miscommunication or accident being a trigger of a conflict across their border. The Daily Star

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
2 Jan 2018
[The return of Assad’s forces to the border] has the potential of creating a more united front of resistance between Lebanon and Syria against Israel. Jewish Week

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
26 Nov 2017
Hezbollah thrives on its position of being a state within a state, an alternative provider for all kinds of things [when Lebanon's political institutions are weakened]. The Washington Post

Heiko Wimmen

Project Director, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon
13 Nov 2017
Hariri as [Lebanon's] Prime Minister created the impression that coexistence with Hezbollah and by extension with Iran was possible; his departure is designed to erase any doubt. New Zealand Herald

Robert Malley

President & CEO
11 Nov 2017
For months now, [Israel] has been sounding alarm bells about Hezbollah’s and Iran’s growing footprint in Syria, and about the Lebanese capacity to produce precision-guided missiles. Business Insider

Robert Malley

President & CEO

Latest Updates

Trigger List: Crisis Group raises Syria threat level to critical

With the U.S. threatening a retaliatory response to apparent chemical attacks in Syria and escalating tensions between Israel and Iran, Crisis Group has raised the threat of confrontation to the highest possible level in its early-warning platform the Iran-U.S. Trigger List

Lebanon Needs Help to Revive its Waning Welcome to Syrian Refugees

Eight members of International Crisis Group’s Council and Ambassador Council joined a trip to Lebanon alongside Crisis Group staff in November 2017 to examine the consequences of the Syrian war since 2011. In this op-ed and an accompanying video, Crisis Group supporters from the Council reflect on the Syrian refugees they met and Lebanon’s increased fragility as a result of its enormous new burdens.

Hizbollah’s Syria Conundrum

Four years after plunging into Syria’s civil war, Hizbollah has achieved its core aim of preserving the Assad regime. Yet with no clear exit strategy, the Lebanese “Party of God” faces ever greater costs unless it can lower the sectarian flames, open dialogue with non-jihadist rebel groups and help pave the way for a negotiated settlement.

Also available in فارسی, العربية

Lebanon Needs Help to Cope With Huge Refugee Influx

Lebanon hosts some 1.5 million Syrian refugees, more refugees per capita than anywhere in the world. International support is needed to keep this fragile country from reaching the breaking point.