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Spillover of the Syria conflict into Lebanon

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Syrian conflict has spilled over into neighbouring Lebanon, which lived through three decades of domination by Damascus.

Lebanon is deeply divided between opponents and supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a rift that has widened since the open intervention on his side in April of Lebanon's powerful Shiite group Hezbollah.

Following are some of the key incidents in Lebanon since Syria's uprising started in March 2011.

--2011--

- June 17: Six people killed in clashes between Sunnis and Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, after protests against Syria's Alawite-led regime in the northern city of Tripoli.

- August 8: Ex-premier Saad Hariri, a Sunni, urges Lebanon to denounce the "massacre" in Syria.

--2012--

- August 9: Security forces arrest ex-information minister Michel Samaha, considered close to Damascus. Two days later, he is accused of planning attacks in Lebanon along with Syrian security chief General Ali Mamluk.

- August 20-26: Clashes between gunmen in rival Tripoli districts kill 16.

- October 19: Assassination of top Lebanese security official General Wissam al-Hassan, a Sunni opponent of Damascus and close to Hariri.

--2013--

- February 1: Gunmen kill two soldiers in the border village of Arsal.

- March 18: Syria accused of air strikes on border areas of eastern Lebanon. It denies the charge.

- April 30: Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah acknowledges his group is fighting inside Syria alongside regime forces.

- May 19: New clashes erupt between Sunnis and Alawites in Tripoli, killing more than 30 in one week.

- May 26: Two rockets explode in the Shiite-majority Hezbollah heartland of southern Beirut.

- May 28: Gunmen kill three soldiers near the border.

- June 5: Syrian troops backed by Hezbollah recapture the key central town of Qusayr near Lebanon.

- June 9: A Hezbollah opponent is killed in a clash near the Iranian embassy.

- June 12: A Syrian helicopter gunship attacks the mainly Sunni Lebanese village of Arsal.

- June 23-24: 18 soldiers killed in clashes with supporters of radical Sunni cleric Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir in the southern city of Sidon.

- July 8: Two rockets fired from inside Syria hit the eastern Hezbollah bastion of Hermel.

- July 9: A car bomb injures at least 53 people in Hezbollah's southern Beirut stronghold.

- July 16: One person is killed in a roadside bomb attack on a Syria-bound Hezbollah convoy in eastern Lebanon.

- August 9: Gunmen kidnap two Turkish Airlines pilots in Beirut, to bring pressure on rebels to release nine Lebanese Shiites kidnapped in Syria in May 2012.

- August 15: A powerful car bomb kills 27 people and injures more than 300 in a Beirut Hezbollah stronghold.

- August 16: Nasrallah says he is ready to fight in Syria.

- August 18: Five rockets land in and around Hermel. Hezbollah cordons off its stronghold in southern Beirut.

- August 21: Lebanese army chief General Jean Kahwaji says he is fighting a "total war" against terrorism whose aim is "to provoke sectarian strife".

- August 22: Gunmen shoot dead a Hezbollah supporter and two other men in Tripoli.

- Four rockets fired at Israel from Lebanon.

- August 23: Israeli jets make a retaliatory strike against a Palestinian group close to Syria's regime, in southern Lebanon.

- Car bombs explode outside two Sunni mosques in Tripoli, killing at least 29 people and wounding 500.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130823/spillover-the-syria-conflict-lebanon