Syria and Lebanon gripped by sectarian violence as feuding tribes fight over property

Violence in the Syrian capital in the past two days has left at least six people dead and hundreds injured as feuding Sunni and Shia Muslim tribes took to the streets to argue about…

Syria and Lebanon gripped by sectarian violence as feuding tribes fight over property

Violence in the Syrian capital in the past two days has left at least six people dead and hundreds injured as feuding Sunni and Shia Muslim tribes took to the streets to argue about theft and honor.

The fight started when opposition forces were seeking to expel the Houthi rebels in the Arab Republic of Yemen and were followed by a separate fight between an Ethiopian Shiite tribe and a group of Sunnis, The New York Times reported.

“This is a real slaughterhouse right now,” one resident of western Beirut, Hassan Abur, told The Times. “We are being eaten alive by these sectarian conflicts.”

Abur, who grew up in Syria and was in the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila when Lebanese troops killed 600 people there in 1983, told The Times that he hoped foreign countries would intervene. “Let them take us,” he said. “Let the world come and save us. We can’t do this for ourselves.”

Though there have been no reported attacks on a national level so far, Shias and Sunnis, whose sects support opposing sides in the Syrian civil war, are being killed and injured in more than 200 different neighborhoods across the country, according to CNN. The effects of their feud have extended to neighboring Lebanon, where civilians have been clashing, mostly over property disputes.

Conflict between Lebanon’s Sunni and Shiite communities has long complicated the country’s fragile balance, though typically under less dire circumstances. Al Qaeda-linked militants in the last decade were accused of fueling sectarian violence.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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