Lebanon Would Like Syria to Please Stop Sending Refugees Already

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Syrian refugee kids play in the mud after rain as rain and winter worsens the living conditions of Syrian refugees living in a refugee camp in Akkar, Lebanon on January 02i 2014.
Photo: Mahmoud Salih/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Though Lebanon may be shielded from some of the harshest Islamic State attacks by government-controlled territories along its border with Syria, there’s one thing it can’t protect itself against: the creeping number of war refugees who are flooding into this more-stable neighbor. Some estimates put as many as 2 million Syrian refugees (about half registered, half not) in the small country, meaning that a fifth of the country’s residents now are Syrian citizens — and Lebanon has just about had enough. New border-crossers will need a time-limited visa and will be asked to state a specific purpose for their visit, though it’s not clear how (or whether) asylum claims will work under the new rules.