In the main squares of Lebanon’s second city, white flags of peace have replaced the black banners of war.

As the centre of Sunni militancy in Lebanon, Tripoli has been caught up in waves of violence since war in neighbouring Syria began four years ago, emboldening militants here.

In the early days of the conflict, Free Syrian Army flags quickly appeared in militant strongholds in Tripoli. Eventually, they were followed by fighters wearing T-shirts bearing Al Qaeda’s logo and walls decorated with ISIL insignias and posters of young who had been killed after joining the fight across the border. […]