Lebanon Marks One Million Syrian Refugees

Refugees who fled the violence from the Syrian town of Flita, near Yabroud, stand outside their tents at the border town of Arsal

TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) – The number of Syrian refugees who have fled to Lebanon officially topped 1 million on Thursday, highlighting the growing humanitarian catastrophe caused by Syria’s civil war and the huge burden placed on its poorly prepared neighbors.

After Syria, Al Qaeda Expanding in Lebanon

Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) try to calm civilians demonstrating against the rebel infighting in Aleppo

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Faced with recent setbacks in Iraq and Syria, al Qaeda is slowly but firmly gaining influence in Lebanon, helped by the country’s increasing sectarian violence and the turmoil caused by Syria’s civil war, sources close to the group say.

Israel Bombs Pro-Assad Lebanon Militants after Rocket Attack

A Palestinian militant of the PFLP stands near a site which PFLP said was hit by an Israeli rocket near a network of tunnels used by the PFLP, Aug. 23, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Israel’s air force on Friday bombed a militant base in Lebanon used by allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and radical Islamists in retaliation for a rare cross-border rocket salvo a day earlier, Israeli and Lebanese officials said.

Middle Eastern Nations Plea for Humanitarian Aid

Syrian conflict destabilizing region with flood of refugees
Syrian refugee family in eastern Lebanese town / AP

Aid organizations and governments in the Levant region will make their largest-ever plea for humanitarian assistance in response to the spillover of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing a devastating civil war, regional experts said Tuesday.

Restrictions on Religion Growing in Middle East

Panel discusses growing religious intolerance in the Middle East and American apathy
Iranian Christians attend Christmas mass in Tehran / AP

Religious minorities in the Middle East are increasingly threatened as the U.S. government stands by idly, current and former government officials and private sector leaders said Monday afternoon at a panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C.

Overreach

Leader of Hezbollah under fire for terror org’s involvement in Syrian war
Hassan Nasrallah / AP

JERUSALEM — Middle East experts suggested that a pair of rockets fired at the leader of Hezbollah have pierced his image of invulnerability.

Israel on Alert

Israel appears to be readying for conflict with Lebanon
Israeli Iron Dome missile is launched / AP

Senior Israeli officials have indicated that the Jewish state is gearing up for a major “war with Lebanon,” according to sources close to the Israeli government.

Iran’s Charity Loophole

House Dems push for Iran sanctions exemptions
Iranian Red Crescent / AP

A delegation of House Democrats is urging President Barack Obama’s administration to extend an exemption on Iran sanctions—a move that could allow certain groups linked to terrorism to benefit from American philanthropic donations, experts say.