Lebanon. According to
Countryaah, Lebanon trembled under the pressure of the war
in Syria. Within the government coalition, the political
contradictions deepened. Prime Minister Najib Mikati - a
Sunni Muslim who stipulates the country's constitution, and
a member of the Syrian-critical March 14 Alliance - resigned
March 22 following a schism with the pro-Syrian, essentially
Shia Muslim March 8 Alliance. This government-led
bankruptcy, which was ruled by the Iran-backed Hizbullah
guerrilla, had stopped Mikati's plans to set up a commission
to oversee the next parliamentary elections and to extend
his close associate Ashraf Rifi's appointment as head of the
country's internal security forces (ISF). President Michel
Suleiman appointed former Minister of Culture Tamam Salam
from the March 14 Alliance as new Prime Minister.
In September, Lebanon was reported to have received
750,000 refugees from Syria. Lebanon had not set up any
refugee camps, nor any reception system, so the Syrians
lived in their own tents, shelters, or in evacuated houses
that they were often forced to rent for expensive money.
Around 400,000 school-aged refugee children also found it
difficult to get a place in Lebanese schools, and the UN
Children's Fund UNICEF reported that more and more refugee
children were doing hard work in Lebanese agriculture.
The border between Lebanon and Syria was increasingly
disbanded and armed men and weapons flooded. Hizbullah began
to openly fight on the Syrian government side while
increasing numbers of Syrian rebels with families sought
protection in Lebanon. In the Hizbullah-controlled Beka
Valley there were countless clashes between Hizbullah and
Syrian-driven rebels with jihadist ties.
Struggles were also reported, among other things. in and
around the city of Tripoli in the north where two car bombs
on August 23 claimed at least 45 people's lives and injured
over 500. In March, Syrian fighter planes attacked bases in
eastern Lebanon suspected of belonging to Syrian rebels. In
the port city of Sayda in the south, at least 35 people were
killed in fighting June 23-25 when armed Sunni extremists
attacked a government post supported by Hizbullah. In the
capital Beirut, on August 15, at least 24 people were killed
by a car bomb in the Rweiss district, a strong Hizbullah
stronghold; On November 19, 23 people were killed in a
suicide attack against the Iranian embassy and on December
4, a Hezbollah leader, Hassan al-Lakis, was murdered.
Hizbullah accused Israel of being behind the two subsequent
assaults, but judges believed the culprits could be Lebanese
The contradictions escalated on December 27, when the
Sunni Muslim politician and Syrian critic Muhammad Shattah
fell victim to a car bomb in Beirut.
Occasional fighting also occurred with Israel at the
border in the south.
A complicated hostage frame got its resolution. On
October 19, nine Lebanese Shi'a Muslims who had been
kidnapped by rebels in Syria in 2012 were released, and in
exchange for them, Hizbullah released two Turkish pilots
taken hostage in Beirut in August. A few days later, at
least 61 women who had been held captive by the Syrian
regime were also released.
In October, the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon indicted
a fifth suspect for the assassination of former Prime
Minister Rafiq al-Hariri in 2005. All five were prosecuted
in their absence and the suspect is kept hidden by
Hizbullah. The tribunal had issued arrest warrants for them.
Lebanon's economy was severely affected by the conflict. The
number of tourists in July was 27% lower than the same month
last year, already a low figure.
After essentially participating in the fighting in Syria
for over 1 year, Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah
declared open war against IS in June 2015. In the following
months, Hezbollah and the Syrian army were involved in
particularly bloody fighting over the city of al-Zabadani on
the Syria-Lebanon border. The city that was the most
important junction on the road between Damascus and Beirut
had been on the hands of the rebels for one year. In
October, the last rebels were driven out of town by buses
after the UN had managed to negotiate an agreement between
the parties in place.
In June 2015, residents in the area around al-Naameh
landfill managed to close it. It was opened in 1998 and
should only have been used for 6 years, but the authorities
did not find anywhere else. The closure of al-Naameh
triggered a serious crisis as Beirut waste could no longer
be collected. This in turn triggered increasingly fierce
protests against the authorities. In December 2015, the
government signed an agreement with Chinook Industrial
Mining to purchase 100,000 tonnes of untreated waste. An
allegation that the waste was to be landfilled in Sierra
Leone turned out to be false in January 2016, and subsequent
documents showing it to be shipped to Russia turned out to
be false in February. In March, the government withdrew from
In November 2015, two IS suicide bombers shot themselves
in the air in the Bourj el-Barajneh district of southern
Beirut. The district was predominantly inhabited by Shia and
therefore under Hezbollah's control. 43 were killed and 240
injured. The attack took place two weeks after IS had
launched a Russian passenger plane over Sinai and the day
before the Paris attacks.
After 1½ years in captivity, in December al-Nusra
released 16 soldiers and officers against 13 al-Nusra
partisans in Lebanese prisons.
Saudi Arabia pledged $ 4 billion in February 2016 US $ in
financial aid to Lebanon's military left. The reason was
that Lebanon "had not shown the right attitude towards Saudi
Arabia" - which had supported the Islamist insurgency in
neighboring Syria for five years.
After a 29-month political power vacuum, in October 2016,
Parliament finally succeeded in electing the former general
and leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, Michel Aoun as
president. He was elected in the 4th round with 65.35% of
parliamentarians votes. Prior to the vote, he had secured
support from Hezbollah, the Christians and the Druze, but
had not received support from the Amal movement. After his
election, Aoun appointed Saad Hariri as the new prime
minister. This one joined in December.