Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2014

The Roots of Crisis in Northern Lebanon

Raphaël Lefèvre

April 2014

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Syria’s civil war is having a dramatic impact on its neighbors, particularly Lebanon. The spillover is glaring in the northern city of Tripoli, where street violence is rising, sectarianism is at unprecedented levels, and Sunni extremism is flourishing. This instability threatens to spread to other areas of the country. Yet, Lebanon’s problems have as much to do with domestic dynamics as with the unrest in Syria. Lebanese policymakers must address a number of issues that have long been ignored.