Assir in his combat uniform during the Abra clashes. (The Daily Star/Mohammaed Zaatari)
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The tale of Ahmad al-Assir, a Sidon preacher turned outlaw, began with a series of peaceful rallies in Sidon that turned violent as the war in Syria inched closer to Lebanon and deepened political divides.Nov. 11, 2012: Supporters of Assir and supporters of Hezbollah clash in Sidon, leaving at least three dead. Assir urges his supporters to take up arms against Hezbollah. April 2013: Assir goes to Syria with some of his followers to battle Syrian regime troops and Hezbollah in Qusair.June 23-24, 2013: Heavy street fighting erupts between the Lebanese Army and gunmen loyal to Assir in Abra. In the battles 18 soldiers and 40 Assir supporters are killed. The military uncovers a list of Assir's financiers.Feb. 28, 2014: Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghayda issued indictments against 57 individuals, including Assir and Shaker.Aug. 15, 2015: Assir is arrested at Beirut airport.
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