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Lebanon's fragility makes regional war possible.

In any conflict, there is always the danger of it extending beyond its geographical location. Conflict does not recognise boundaries, religious or sectarian sensitivities, or the cost a nation pays in the ordeal. The current conflict in Syria is one that is extremely complex as many variables are all intertwined. Hence, it is critical that what is taking place in Syria does not spill over its borders.

A recent incident in Lebanon raised the alarm with regards to the recent developments in Syria as it clearly indicates a spillover. On Wednesday, more than 30 Syrians were abducted in Lebanon and the captors called it revenge for the kidnapping of a relative inside Syria. The Shiite family that had captured the Syrians threatened in a video to cause chaos in the streets and expand its list of abductees.

Further details are yet to emerge with regards to the incident, but it is a clear sign that the comfit in Syria between the regime forces and the armed opposition has taken on a new turn. Lebanon up until now has been able to maintain a relative distance from the conflict in Syria. Maintaining a sense of calm and ensuring a buffering to what is taking place has been possible thus far. This has surely been a tough task for Lebanon given the relationship with Syria historically and the intricacies involving the politics of both countries. It is a known fact, even by Lebanon itself, that any party can take advantage of the situation's vulnerability.

It is therefore imperative that the situation in Lebanon is prevented from escalating further. The country is not in a position to be a victim of any level of disturbance, let alone violence. The fragility of the country makes it possible that the conflict in Syria could turn into a regional war.

Such a prospect should be prevented as the result of such a confrontation would be costly for all those involved.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Aug 16, 2012
Words:340
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