Lebanon

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Villagers Release Vulture They Thought Was Israeli Spy

It was an honest mistake

(Newser) - A falsely accused Israeli spy has been returned home after being captured in Lebanon this week, and authorities are confident it will soon be soaring over Israel's countryside once again, Haaretz reports. Oh, it should be mentioned the suspected spy is a giant vulture, one that was released into... More »

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Twin Attacks in Beirut

At least 37 killed, 180 injured

(Newser) - ISIS has claimed responsibility for the twin suicide bombing that struck a Shiite suburb in southern Beirut on Thursday evening, killing at least 37 people and wounding at least 180 more in one of the deadliest attacks in years. The explosions hit minutes apart in an area called Burj al-Barajneh... More »

Photo Changes Life of Syrian Refugee

Donations pour in for Abdul Halim and his family after image goes viral

(Newser) - A Syrian refugee now has money to send his children to school and help others who have fled his war-torn homeland—thanks to Twitter, a photo of him and his daughter selling pens, and the generosity of thousands of people around the world. CNN reports Norwegian activist Gissur Simonarson posted... More »

Hezbollah Missiles Kill 2 Israeli Soldiers

Analysts warn major confrontation could lie ahead

(Newser) - The Lebanese militant Hezbollah group fired a salvo of missiles at an Israeli military convoy in a disputed border area yesterday, killing two soldiers and triggering deadly clashes that marked the most serious escalation since the sides' 2006 war. The flare-up, which also left a UN peacekeeper dead, added to... More »

Miss Universe Selfie Causes International Uproar

Miss Lebanon claims she was photobombed by Miss Israel

(Newser) - Politics haven't been left behind at this year's Miss Universe pageant, where a selfie taken by Miss Israel is becoming an international incident. After Doron Matalon posted the photo of herself with Miss Lebanon, Miss Slovenia, and Miss Japan on Instagram , Lebanese beauty queen Saly Greige faced calls... More »

ISIS Leader's Wife Held in Lebanon

Along with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's son or daughter: reports

(Newser) - The wife and a son or daughter of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are being held in Lebanon, according to reports. Anonymous Lebanese officials tell the AP that the woman and her son have been in detention for about 10 days. They identify the woman as a Syrian citizen. Sources... More »

Rockets From 2 Directions Hit Israel

US offers to broker Gaza ceasefire

(Newser) - Hostilities only seem to be escalating as the Israeli offensive against Gaza enters a fourth day. Early this morning, a rocket from Gaza ignited a tanker at a gas station in southern Israel, injuring three people in the most serious hit on Israel so far. For the first time in... More »

Marine Accused of Faking Iraq Kidnap Resurfaces

Wassef Ali Hassoun was charged with desertion twice

(Newser) - A Marine who disappeared from a base in Fallujah a decade ago, turned up in Lebanon weeks later, and then vanished again while facing desertion charges has resurfaced—and the military presumably has a lot of questions to ask him. After Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun vanished from the base in... More »

This Man Spent 5 Years as Hostage, Then 'Thrived'

Joe Cicippio explains why the experience didn't ruin him

(Newser) - Joe Cicippio spent five years often chained to a radiator, a captive of Hezbollah in Lebanon. His only companions were his masked kidnappers and one or two other captives. But he's thrived since his release in 1991, and now Cicippio, 83, reveals how in an interview with NPR . “... More »

Syrian Army Captures Vital Rebel Stronghold

Hezbollah helps regime capture key supply town

(Newser) - Syrian government troops and Hezbollah fighters captured a strategic town near the Lebanese frontier yesterday, sending opposition fighters fleeing to Lebanon from their last stronghold in the vital border area. The fall of Yabroud—a major smuggling hub for the rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad—is the latest... More »

Syrian Refugees Selling Their Organs to Survive

Market is hot in Lebanon

(Newser) - This is the plight of refugees streaming out of Syria: One of the hottest markets in neighboring Lebanon is the black-market sale of their human organs, reports Vocative . Given that it is, in fact, a black market, it's hard to pin down numbers. But Lebanon's look-the-other-way attitude, its... More »

Alleged Political Assassins' Trial Starts Without Them

Hague takes up long-awaited case of Rafik Hariri's murder

(Newser) - The Hague's Special Tribunal on Lebanon today began the trial of four people accused of assassinating Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, in what the BBC is calling an "unprecedented tribunal"—in part because the accused aren't there. It's the first time the Hague has tried... More »

Lebanon Fires on Syrian Planes Entering Airspace

Beirut gets tough, tries to halt violence from spilling over border

(Newser) - Lebanese forces fired on Syrian aircraft that violated the country's airspace today, the first time they have done so since Syria's uprising broke out three years ago, said security officials. The move suggests Beirut is trying to enforce greater respect for its borders in the hopes of slowing... More »

Saudis to Lebanon: Here's $3B for Your Army

Diplomatic move with France as Syrian conflict threatens to spill over

(Newser) - With an eye on neighboring Syria's backslide into violence, Saudi Arabia is pledging $3 billion to Lebanon to buy weapons from France in order to shore up its army. "I am happy to tell the Lebanese people that the Saudi ruler will give a grant of $3 billion... More »

Cairo Gets First Snow in 100+ Years

Storm brings winter to much of Middle East

(Newser) - Cairo saw a rare and wonderful sight today: Snow. Much of the Middle East has been blanketed by the white stuff in recent days thanks to a region-wide cold snap and winter storm. According to local news reports, Cairo hasn't gotten snow in more than a century, the LA ... More »

Top Hezbollah Commander Assassinated

Hassan al-Laqis shot outside his home in Beirut

(Newser) - Gunmen assassinated a senior Hezbollah commander outside his home today in southern Beirut, a major breach of the Shiite militant group's security as it struggles to maintain multiple fronts while it fights alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Syria. The overnight shooting of Hassan al-Laqis, described as a... More »

Twin Bombs Hit Iran Embassy in Beirut, Kill 23

Al-Qaeda-linked group claims responsibility for Beirut blast

(Newser) - An al-Qaeda-linked group has claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings that struck outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, killing 23 people, including an Iranian diplomat. The obscure Abdullah Azzam Brigades said in online posts that it carried out the mid-morning bombings today in a southern Beirut Hezbollah stronghold. The group... More »

After Huge Beirut Bombing, Rocks Fly at Minister

A hundred Hezbollah supporters march in protest

(Newser) - A car bomb rocked a stronghold of the Shiite militant Hezbollah group in a bustling suburb of Beirut today, setting several cars on fire and wounding 37 people in a major security breach of a tightly-guarded area, security officials said. When Interior Minister Marwan Charbel came to inspect the scene,... More »

Hezbollah Chief on Syria: 'We Will Be Victorious'

Militant group's leader openly throws chips in with Assad regime

(Newser) - Hezbollah's leader vowed to help propel President Bashar al-Assad to victory in Syria's bloody civil war, warning that the fall of the Damascus regime would give rise to extremists and plunge the Middle East into a "dark period." In a televised address, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah also... More »

Hezbollah, Assad Make Massive Push Into Key Town

Israel threatens more strikes as battle for Qusair rages

(Newser) - Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon have taken their most prominent role yet in the Syrian civil war, fighting alongside Bashar al-Assad's forces as the military attempts to regain control of a strategic rebel-held city near the Lebanese order. Activists say at least 23 members of the Iran-backed militant group have... More »

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