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180 words - June 27, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
The impact of the Syrian crisis is growingly threatening the stability of Lebanon, the international community overtly worried about this week. Serious security incidents have shown the apparent failure of the EU-US-United Nations-Arab League-backed Lebanon's policy of dissociation from the conflict in Syria.
Most serious clashes have been taking place in Sidon (Saida), Lebanon's third largest city, where at least 17 Lebanese soldiers were killed as a result of a fierce confrontation with armed followers of a Sunni Muslim cleric, Sheik Ahmad al-Assir, who was described as a "radical" and an "extremist" by Lebanon's security sources.
The events in Sidon showed that Lebanon is being engaged in the Syrian conflict against its will, and that its very unity as a multi-confessional nation is very likely to be put at harsh test due to growing threats of further sectarian violence. Whatever the strength of the Lebanese Army, only a decisive and greater involvement from the international community could spare Lebanon the risk of sliding into Syria-like violence.
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