In the Lebanese city of Tripoli, unidentified armed men attacked a Russia Today television crew. According to the press service of the channel, the incident occurred in the city center during the preparation of a report on clashes between supporters and opponents of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
Fortunately no one was hurt. A correspondent, an operator and his assistant were asked to produce permission to shoot and press cards.
When they learned that in front of them were employees of the Beirut bureau of the Russia Today TV channel in Arabic, the armed men began threatening the crew and calling the journalists Assad’s spies. When the crew tried to leave the armed men broke their microphone and attempted to make off with the footage, then the crew was forced to leave the scene.
In March 2011 confrontations between the authorities and the opposition broke out and threaten to escalate into a full-scale civil war.
Syria withdrew its troops from Lebanon in 2005 after 29 years of occupation. However, Damascus has maintained official influence in Lebanon through the Shiite group Hezbollah and the Alawite religious minority.