Southern Lebanon (Lebanese Arabic: Jnoub, meaning "south") is the area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. The two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s. The Rashaya and Western Beqaa Districts, the southernmost districts of the Beqaa Governorate, in Southern Lebanon are sometimes included.
The main cities of the region are Sidon, Tyre, Jezzine and Nabatiyeh. The cazas of Bint Jbeil, Tyre, and Nabatieh in Southern Lebanon are known for their large Shi'a Muslim population with a minority of Christians. Sidon is predominantly Sunni, with the rest of the caza of Sidon having a Shi'a Muslim majority, with a considerable Christian minority, mainly Melkite Greek Catholics. The cazas of Jezzine and Marjeyoun have a Christian majority and also Shia Muslims. The villages of Ain Ebel, Debel, Qaouzah, and Rmaich are entirely Christian Maronite. The caza of Hasbaya has a Druze majority.
Southern Lebanon became the location of the self-proclaimed Free Lebanon State, announced in 1979 by Saad Haddad The state failed to gain international recognition, and its authority deteriorated with the death of Saad Haddad in 1984.
Southern Lebanon has also featured prominently in the Israel-Lebanon conflict.
In October 2010 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited South Lebanon. This was his first visit to Lebanon since he first assumed office in Tehran in 2005. Both Israel and the United States condemned the trip as being "provocative." Ahmadinejad was welcomed by tens of thousands of supporters of Hezbollah, Iran's Shiite Muslim ally in Lebanon which the United States and Israel have branded a terrorist organization despite its participation in Lebanon's fragile government.