The conflict in neighboring Syria has severely aggravated existing sectarian tensions in Tripoli, where intermittent violence has persisted between the hilltop Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen and the Sunni neighborhoods that completely surround it, including Bab al-Tabbaneh, since May 2008. Hundreds of both Sunni and Alawite residents have been the main victims, but Jabal Mohsen residents are especially vulnerable.