As the violence in Syria reaches unprecendent levels, thousands of regugees are fleeing to neighboring countries. Turkey has already taken in well over 10,000 Syrian refugees. Israel has recently offered to help refugees from Syria as well. In Iraq, the opposite situation is occuring as Iraqi Sunnis are helping their Sunni brethren in Syria fight against Assad.
The Syrian refugees are becoming desperate and are now escaping to another country. The U.N. refugee agency said today that as many as 2,000 Syrians had crossed into Lebanon in the past two days alone. People have traveled over 14 miles to reach the border with Lebanon. Lebanese security officials recently stated that more than 10,000 Syrians are believed to currently be taking refuge in Lebanon.
What is very surprising is that Syria has de-facto control over Lebanon. The Lebanese Government is currently controlled by Hassan Nasrallah’s Hezzbollah. The group has stated their support for Assad and blamed the uprising on the US and Israel.
Some Syrians who fled to Lebanon have already been targeted by Syrian agents in Lebanon. The situation in Syria must be getting so bad that these refugees are willing to risk a travel across the border with Lebanon.
What will be very interesting is how the situation in Lebanon plays out. The country was very peaceful and successful until a civil war started in 1975. Since then over 10 million Syrian Christians have fled the country.
There are already existing tensions between the Sunni muslims and the Shia muslims who control the Government. The Christians and Druze have been caught in the middle and have tried to take the winners side. Clashes have already broken out between Sunnis opposed to Assad and Shias supportive of the Syrian President.
Hezzbollah has one of the largest armies in the world, and if Assad falls there very well could be an uprising in Lebanon. They would be facing a brutal group, which likely would use as much force as Assad has used in Syria. All of these possibilities do not bode well for the Syrian refugees who have reached the “safety” of Lebanon.