BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 19 (UPI) -- A Syrian military attack along the Lebanese border suggests the civil war is spreading and may engulf the region, a policy expect on the Middle East said.
Syrian forces struck alleged rebel targets along the Lebanese border Monday. The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon reported there were no casualties, though the attack made long-standing fears of spill-over a reality.
"It is one more step toward Lebanon's entanglement and engagement in the Syrian conflict," Beirut director of the Carnegie Middle East Center Paul Salem told the newspaper.
Damascus sent a letter to Lebanese defense officials last week warning that it may take military action against armed gangs suspected of crossing the Lebanese-Syrian border. U.N. officials had expressed concern that two years of civil war in Syria was putting a strain on regional stability.
Retired Lebanese army Gen. Elias Hanna told the Lebanese newspaper that Syrian war was "widening (and) threatening to further engulf Lebanon in the melee."
Last week marked the seventh anniversary of the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon that diminished Syrian influence over Beirut politics.