Den libanesiske hæren har overtatt kontrollen med Tripoli i et halvt år, etter stadig flere og mer dødelige kamper mellom sunnier og alawitter.
Over 12 mennesker ble drept og over 100 såret i kamper lørdag 30. november.
Kampene brøt ut da en alawitt ble skutt i bena i en sunni-bydel.
Slike «runder» er det blitt stadig flere av. Denne gang spredte kampene seg til et mye større område.
The fighting in Tripoli is concentrated between two impoverished, rival neighborhoods. The Bab Tabbaneh district is largely Sunni Muslim, as are most of the Syrian rebels fighting Assad’s rule. Residents of Jabal Mohsen, a neighborhood perched on a hill, are mostly from his Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
But the violence in recent days has taken a more ominous turn, spreading to include other parts of Tripoli as snipers took up positions on rooftops, and gunbattles and rocket fire raged out of control.
Bombingen av en sunni-moske 23. august der 47 ble drept har satt mye vondt blod. En egen gruppe som kaller seg Pårørende til ofrene for moske-bombingen, har påtatt seg ansvaret for flere angrep.
Konfliktens sekteriske karakter er blitt mer uttalt, og det skremmer folk.
Nå kan den religiøse identiteten, som kan avsleses på id-kortene, få konsekvenser.
“I am worried about Tripoli,” said Khaled Tutunji, who works at a construction material shop near Abu Ali Square. “In the past, we did not know who is a Sunni and who is Alawite,” he said as he stood beside an armored personnel carrier as cracks of gunfire echoed from a distance
Mazen Kotb, a curtain maker in Tripoli, said his business has fallen by 70 percent because of the tensions. Many of his clients were Alawites who don’t dare to come to his shop, he said.
“What is happening in Tripoli pains my heart,” Kotb said as he checked his Facebook page on a computer screen on his desk. He said he wanted to ask for a new identity card that does not include his sect, adding he fears he might be shot in the leg if he goes into Alawite areas.
Titalls soldater er blitt drept og såret i kampene i Tripoli. De har en nærmest håpløs oppgave.
Myndighetene vil sende 600 flere politi til byen. Men hvorda er hæren og politiets kampmoral i en by der offiserer blir skutt av sniskyttere i fritiden?
At one point, a brown BMW sped toward an army checkpoint near the square and screeched to a halt. The shaken driver jumped out and shouted to the troops, “I have two soldiers who were shot in the neck.”
The officers ran toward him, looked at the wounded soldiers in the car and said, “Take them straight to the hospital.” The car sped away.
A soldier said the two wounded officers had been off duty and were going home in the northern region of Akkar when they were hit by sniper fire.