Skip to main content

Islamic State sets sights on sea in Lebanon

The Islamic State has hopes of connecting with the sea, but to achieve this it must go through Lebanon, which will be a tough fight.
A Lebanese army soldier sits atop an army vehicle at the entrance of the Sunni Muslim border town of Arsal, in eastern Bekaa Valley, as smoke rises during clashes between Lebanese army soldiers and Islamist militants August 4, 2014. The Lebanese army advanced into a border town that was attacked by Islamists in an incursion from Syria at the weekend, finding the bodies of 50 militants, a Lebanese security official said.     REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah    (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY TPX IMAGE
Read in 

BEIRUT — The Islamic State (IS) seems to be operating like a fully integrated state, and it is working on providing all necessary components for that state to stand. The organization acquired land after invading Syria and Iraq, and now has its prince, people and militants. However, it still lacks an outlet to the sea, which constitutes a strong point for any state. Lebanese army Chief Jean Kahwaji told Le Figaro that IS is seeking to acquire this outlet in Lebanon after it failed to do so in Iraq and Syria.

This sea outlet can only pass through northern Lebanon, since IS and Jabhat al-Nusra cannot possibly reach the sea through other districts, and they are present in the Syrian regions close to Lebanon’s northeastern border. In light of this, IS is trying to connect the Syrian Qalamoun to the Lebanese Akkar.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.