Since the offensive began on Feb. 10, more than 10,000 refugees have sought refuge in Arsal from the fighting in the strategically important Qalamoun region.
Losing Qalamoun would be a blow, cutting off access to smuggling trails and the highway connecting Homs, Damascus, and the coast.
A steady stream of weapons from Iran and Russia, as well as those seized from Syrian Army storehouses, is being sold in Lebanon, reversing the flow of the war's early days.
Today's suicide bombing of a van headed toward Beirut is the second since Saturday to target Shiite areas of Lebanon and the fifth this year. Their neighborhoods have been paralyzed.
A rebel victory in the strategic town of Qusayr would challenge the regime's narrative of a failing, divided opposition. The rebels' effort appears timed to gain clout in negotiations.
Rockets are flying in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, adjacent to the Syrian border, with some apparently being fired from Syria, making the border feel increasingly irrelevant.
Former Lebanon Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was a pragmatist who had been holding secret weekly meetings with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in the months leading up to his assassination.
The trial of Hezbollah members accused of killing former PM Rafik Hariri comes at a fraught time. As prosecution presented evidence in a Dutch courtroom, a car bomb went off in Lebanon.
By putting Hezbollah members on the stand, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is investigating former leader Rafik Hariri's assassination, could topple a delicate political balance.
Lebanon's moderate Sunni community is radicalizing, as shown by last week's suicide bombing in Beirut. Residents of the bomber's hometown expressed admiration for him to the Monitor.
The bombing follows Lebanon's arrest of a Saudi member of an Al Qaeda-linked group that bombed the Iranian embassy in Beirut in November.
Saudi Arabia is flexing its muscles in Lebanon, where the army is overshadowed by the powerful militant group Hezbollah, a key ally of Saudi rival Iran.
The Syrian Army wants to restore full regime control to the Qalamoun area, and is fiercely shelling rebels whose presence there threatens a key link to other areas.
According to a new UN report, nearly one in two Syrian refugee families living outside a camp rely entirely or partly on income generated by a child.
A new study from Oxfam estimates that more than 75 percent of Syrian refugees in Lebanon have taken on debt. Some families even rely on remittances from family still in Syria.
Iran's embassy was targeted today by suicide bombers angry at Tehran's strong backing for the Syrian regime. Saudi Arabia is throwing its weight behind anti-Assad forces.
Today's bombing on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut is the first attack in Lebanon to target Iran for its backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the civil war.
Syria was declared polio free in 1999. But the public health system that delivered vaccinations has broken down during the war, and 10 cases of the virus have been confirmed.
Syria's war has certainly heightened tensions in Lebanon, leading to sporadic sectarian violence, but there is a difference between spates of attacks and a full-scale war.
The Assad regime appears poised to attack the strategic rebel-held Qalamoun region, which separates regime strongholds of Damascus and Syria's coast. Rebel forces have swelled in preparation.
Members of the Syrian opposition have accused President Assad of transferring chemical weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Backed by Iran, thousands of Shiites are playing a crucial supporting role for the Syrian regime and the worn-out Syrian Army.
Lebanon charged a sheikh who runs a militia with close ties to Syria and a Syrian intelligence officer in the mosque bombings, showing how far into Lebanon Syria can reach.
Syrian President Assad is likely to ride out a US attack that's designed to be limited.
After attacks in its Beirut stronghold, Hezbollah is trying to protect people with new measures – while also not disrupting their lives too much.
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