As the Caliphate takeover of the Middle East continues, in the form of ISIS, who have already overrun huge swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, the terrorists of Hezbollah in Lebanon are finding themselves facing daily attacks from their Muslim brothers, the Islamic State.
The Shiite guerrillas of Hezbollah, who are located on the Syria/Lebanon border, as well as in other places in Lebanon, have been pulled into the fighting with the Sunni militants of ISIS, despite wanting to be left out of the conflict.
Although the U.S. sent a bunch of small ammunition to shore up Lebanon’s army, the recent defection of four Lebanese fighters to ISIS has sent shockwaves across Lebanon, eliciting fear of a potential slide into the kind of militant, sectarian violence afflicting both Syria and Iraq, and increasingly prompting minorities to take up arms.
For the time being, ISIS holds no land within the borders of Lebanon, but along with Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate, the Nusra Front, it has established footholds in remote mountains along Lebanon’s eastern border.
A political science professor at Beirut’s St. Joseph University, Fadia Kiwan, confirmed to reporters that, “Lebanon is in the eye of the storm,” as the Lebanese are divided over the civil war in Syria and Hezbollah fighters, for the most part, have joined Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces in their battle against ISIS.
The Sunni militants first started threatening Lebanon back in August, just two months after the group seized territory in Iraq and Syria, making their intentions for Lebanon, which has a large Christian population, abundantly clear.
The Lebanese border town of Arsal, which was hit by the Nusra Front in a surprise attack, saw Lebanese army positions attacked and 20 Lebanese soldiers killed. ISIS have already beheaded two Lebanese soldiers, while Nusra front recently shot dead a third.
It is hoped by many that the ISIS takeover of the Middle East will be repelled, at least in Lebanon, as the country sees terrorists fighting and killing terrorists in an idealogical battle whose origins date back hundreds of years.