Lebanon: A spillover to be?
This article examines how the post-Mosul battle momentum has hastened the decision of Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army to – successively and respectively – clear Hay’at Tahrir alSham (a former Al Qaeda-affiliated group) and the so-called Islamic State from swathes of territory in north-east Lebanon, underlining the latent competition between the Shia movement and the military to take the lead in ensuring national defence. Although the Salafi Jihadist territorial menace is waning, Lebanon is still facing subversive threats – notably on the ideological front – not always dealt with appropriately. Furthermore, rising Israeli fears of Iranian projection of power in Syria, against the backdrop of the dwindling IS Caliphate, may have negative reverberations in Lebanon.
Rayan Haddad holds a PhD in International Relations from Sciences Po Paris (2007). He is a member of the Cercle des Chercheurs sur le Moyen-Orient (Paris) whose own main research interests lie in studying the importation of exogenous conflicts into the Lebanese arena and in Hezbollah’s policies.