Tripoli, the so-called capital of northern Lebanon, is regarded as the flash point that clearly shows the extent of the Syrian crisis’ impact on its smaller neighbor. Since the outbreak of the events in Syria, the security situation has worsened in Tripoli, which is demographically considered the capital of the Lebanese Sunni Muslim community.
To a large extent, the demography of Tripoli resembles a microcosm of Syria. While 400,000 Lebanese Sunnis reside in Tripoli, a few thousand Lebanese Alawite citizens reside in the city’s Jabal Mohsen neighborhood, located on a low-lying hill. The Alawites are called the 18th sect in Lebanon, and they are truly a minority in Tripoli, just as Syrian Alawites are a minority in Syria with its overwhelming Sunni majority.