Dec. 3 - In Tripoli, Lebanon, Muslim militias from two adjacent neighborhoods divided along sectarian lines mirror the conflict in neighboring Syria. Mana Rabiee reports.
In Tripoli, Lebanon, gunfire is a familiar sound for two adjacent neighborhoods… Bab al-Tabbaneh is majority Sunni Muslim. Jebel Mohsen is Alawite, closer to Shiite Islam. The two districts have been fighting, on and off, since the 1980s. But the civil war in neighboring Syria - drawn along a Sunni-Alawaite divide -- has opened old wounds here, where clashes resumed on Tuesday. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE SHOP OWNER IN BAB AL-TABBANEH ABOU FADI, SAYING: "The situation is deteriorating. Every group has preconditions…In the end, it's the poor man who is going to work and searching for food for his children who is caught in the middle." This make-shift barricade protects residents from sniper attack. Over 100 people were killed this year, in a conflict that pits neighbor against neighbor. The Sunni fighters want a Syria peace plan that removes Alawite President Bashar al-Assad from power. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FIGHTER FROM BAB AL-TABBANEH SHEIKH BILAL, SAYING: "The whole of the Lebanese state needs a security plan from the rapists of this government. Any security plan which does not involve removing the criminal Alawite party is doomed." The Lebanese army arrested 21 fighters on Tuesday. It wants to end the bloodshed that's battering this city. But residents and fighters here say the fighting between Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jebel Mohsen is unlikely to end soon.