Lebanese security forces have been patrolling the streets of Tripoli for a second consecutive day in an attempt to put an end to months of violence that has spilled over from neighbouring Syria.
At least 27 people have been killed in the city in clashes over the past three weeks between Sunni Muslims and members of the Alawites, a Shia Islam off-shoot.
Abdul Kader Hamze, a Tripoli resident, said: “People are fed up with the fighting and shelling. They don’t want to see another house attacked or any family displaced from their home because they’re in a bad financial situation.” He added that he does not want his “people to face the same problems that Syrians are dealing with”.
Despite the recent clashes, residents of neighbouring Alawite and Sunni districts have expressed unity.
Abu Yusof, a resident of the mainly Alawite Jebal Mohsen district said the area had been under siege. “They along with those in the mainly Sunni Bab Tabbaneh district were one family.” He added that he had a shop in one district and lived in the other but claimed the government’s intervention destroyed it.
The United Nations refugee agency has said that the millionth Syrian refugee is expected to register in Lebanon on Thursday, a major strain on the country of an estimated 4.5 million residents.
The mounting costs have been a major challenge for the new government, with Syrians seeking housing, food and healthcare at a time of economic slowdown.