Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Gunbattles flare in Lebanon as political turbulence heightens .

AMID heightening political turbulence, Lebanese army have promised decisive action to quell unrest linked to the Syria conflict in the capital Beirut and elsewhere after the assassination of a senior intelligence officer last week.
Meanwhile, an influx of Syrians fleeing President Bashar al-Assad’s military onslaught, according to Reuters, is stoking tension in an area of Turkey known for religious tolerance and setting Turks who share the Syrian leader’s creed against their own government.
In the Turkish frontier province of Hatay, home to the Antioch of the Bible and a mix of confessional groups rare in an overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim country, Turks of Arab origin who share Assad’s Alawite beliefs are increasingly critical of Ankara’s open support for rebels fighting the Syrian leader.
The Syrian refugees, like the insurgents, are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslims, most of whom support the 19-month-old uprising, making for a combustible mix that echoes the increasingly sectarian nature of Syria’s civil war.
While most Alawites said the conflict had not yet divided Hatay’s indigenous communities, some fear reprisals and spoke of isolated incidents between Sunnis and Alawites. One man said Alawite villages had begun arming themselves.

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