By June 20, 2013 Read More →
A Fractured Mosaic: Lebanon and the Syrian Civil War

A Fractured Mosaic: Lebanon and the Syrian Civil War

The wider dimensions of Syria’s civil war have not been lost on analysts of the region. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that the ongoing conflict is causing widening rifts in the Lebanese political landscape. With much at stake, key players in Lebanese politics have become deeply implicated. As Julien Barnes observes in a recent piece for ECFR,

The splits within Lebanon over Syria pit the Sunni-dominated March 14 coalition that backs the rebels against the Assad supporting, Iran-leaning, Shiite Hezbollah movement (that dominates the March 8 coalition). For both sides the Syria crisis has assumed strategic importance: given Syria’s longstanding domination of Lebanon and its historic role as upholder of the political order (which continued up until 2011, despite the Syrian army’s forced withdrawal in 2005), Assad’s future and control of Syria will have a significant impact on the balance of power in Lebanon.

Barnes-Dacy continues with a perceptive analysis of the stakes that each side has in the conflict, concluding that

With each passing day, the country’s political and sectarian divide becomes ever more polarised. What is already an effective proxy – and increasingly direct – battle between Lebanese forces within Syria, reflecting not so much a focus on the fate of Assad per se, but a wider preoccupation with exploiting what his fate means for the domestic balance of power, is increasingly trickling over the border. Lebanon has long been fragile, but the Syria crisis is threatening to unravel the threads holding it together.

Read more: 

ECFR – Syria: The View from Lebanon – Julien Barnes-Dacey

LRB – Is it the end of Sykes-Picot? – Patrick Cockburn

(Wikimedia Commons image courtesy of Voice of America)

Posted in: Middle East, Syria

About the Author:

William Oliver is Nabateans’ editor for international economics and Middle East current affairs. He obtained his degree in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. While his studies focused on the Middle East in the 18th and 19th centuries, William has a long-standing interest in international finance and the political economy of development. William’s work is aimed at understanding how the Middle East integrates with the global economy, and into the wider geopolitical landscape.

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