Islamists pick launch pad for attack on Israel


A ruthless al-Qaida-affiliated Islamist militant group is settling into Lebanon and is building a stronghold there so that it can launch attacks into Israel and parts of Europe, regional sources are warning.  The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, which had its roots with al-Qaida, has moved into Lebanon to take advantage of the Sunni-Shiite sectarian differences. It is establishing itself in urban areas, including the country’s capital, Beirut, sources confirm. ISIL’s actions come in response to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah’s support of fighters on behalf of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which also is receiving direct military assistance from Iran. The jihadist fighters are Sunni while Hezbollah, al-Assad and Iran are Shia. Al-Assad is Alawite, an offshoot of Shite Islam. Al-Assad is fighting in a civil war which has been ongoing for three years against a Syrian opposition comprised mainly of al-Qaida and various affiliated Islamist groups. Analysts see the Syrian civil war as a proxy war between Sunni Saudi Arabia, which is the leader of Sunni Islam, and Iran. While ISIL has begun to spread not only across Syria and into Lebanon, it is launching attacks into the western Sunni Anbar province of Iraq. More

 

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