Syria-linked clashes end in Lebanon after 3 days
Syrian rebels aim their machine guns at Khaldiyeh neighborhood in Homs. AP photoLebanese troops deployed yesterday in sectors of Tripoli affected by clashes, in a bid to calm the northern city after three days of sectarian fighting that killed nine people.
“Hostilities have ceased in Tripoli,” Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati told reporters in a press briefing held yesterday in Beirut, adding that “the past 48 hours have been difficult.” Mikati said he had met political officials and Islamist leaders to discuss the crisis.
Meanwhile, Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj voiced strong support on May 14 for Syria’s opposition, saying his government had already established diplomatic contacts with Syrians fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad. Hoxhaj was responding to comments by Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who warned the U.N. Security Council that Kosovo should not be allowed to become a training center for rebels. “We are supporting very much their cause,” Hoxhaj said. But when asked if there would be training, he replied: “Not at all.” The ethnic-Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army started fighting for independence from Serbia in 1997. President Slobodan Milosevic’s strong-arm response led to a NATO bombing campaign in 1999 that ended the crackdown. Furthermore, Syria said yesterday over half of eligible voters turned out for a parliamentary election. The head of the body that oversaw last week’s vote told reporters that 51.26 percent of the electorate, or just over 5 million, took part in an election.