Ancient Lebanese Christian town fears conquest by Islamist militants [CWN]


The residents of Ras Baalbek, an ancient Lebanese Christian town, fear conquest by Islamist militant rebels in Syria, according to a syndicated Los Angeles Times report."Our great fear …



It sounds like their fears are justified. I hope they will be safe.
I wonder why Lebanon doesn’t send military to protect them.


From what I understand, such towns near the border have a lot of Syrian refugees. And of course, some refugees are also on the payroll or sympathetic to the various combatants within Syria. When a large enough number of ISIS personnel straggle in, they can kill some of the opposing refugees, or threaten the village leadership, etc.

They probably aren’t going to militarily take the city and fly their flag, because the Lebanese military is strong enough to drive out a small force if it comes to that. But the Lebanese government is divided and weak enough that it probably won’t do a lot if it’s not openly provoked.

One other interesting point: Ras Baalbek is probably just named after Baalbek, the larger city to the south. But that city is named for Baal - the bovine god whose golden image ticked off Moses when he returned from Mount Sinai.

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