As coalition airstrikes attempt to curb the expansion of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), the radical Islamist group is digging in militarily as it is simultaneously digging out priceless and irreplaceable historical antiquities—in some cases with heavy earth-moving machinery—which it sells on the black market to fund its Caliphate ambitions. By doing so, a significant amount of ISIS assets are out of reach from traditional counter terror finance measures. Read More
The following is an October 2008 article from Proceedings written by the then-commanding officer of 24th Marine Amphibious Unit in Beirut, Lebanon on Oct. 23, 1983. Read More
Lebanon is one of the few Middle Eastern countries left that hasn’t been thrown into turmoil by the “Arab Spring.”
But with Syria next door, that may not last long.
Lebanon’s northern urban hub, Tripoli, has long been on the edge of stability. But now that it’s both a destination for Syrian refugees and potentially a rear base for Syrian rebels it has fallen into tit-for-tat killings and urban warfare.
On Monday last week, the city was quiet with tension, and cars were backed up as far as the eye could see at military checkpoints.
At the Citadel, a formidable medieval fort that is normally one of Tripoli’s biggest tourist destinations, there was hardly a foreign soul to be seen. Asked why attendance was so light, the government ticket-seller there mumbled, “Syria.”
In the three days following, according to press reports, at least 10 people were killed— most gunned down by snipers on the aptly named Syria Street, which divides a Sunni – Muslim neighborhood from an Alawite one.