News / Middle East

Lebanon Battles Syria Militants Along Border

Lebanese army reinforcements arrive to the outskirts of Arsal, a predominantly Sunni Muslim town near the Syrian border in eastern Lebanon, Aug. 4, 2014.
Lebanese army reinforcements arrive to the outskirts of Arsal, a predominantly Sunni Muslim town near the Syrian border in eastern Lebanon, Aug. 4, 2014.
VOA News

Lebanese troops are battling Islamic militants near the Syrian border in a third day of fierce clashes — the worst spillover of violence since Syria's civil war broke out three years ago.

Lebanon's army reported Monday that at least 16 of its soldiers have been killed in the fighting that erupted in the town of Arsal, while another 22 are missing. It said that advancing soldiers have found the bodies of 50 militants.

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Hundreds of Lebanese civilians and Syrian refugees crammed into cars and pickup trucks during a relative lull in the fighting in the early morning hours to flee Arsal. But intense fighting soon resumed.

The fighting erupted Saturday after the rebels were angered by the Lebanese detention of a Syrian, Imad Ahmad Jomaa, who is believed to be a member of al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate, the al-Nusra Front. It is one of the most powerful groups fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Lebanese army warned of the seriousness of fighting and vowed to keep the Syrian conflict from spreading into its much-smaller country.

The U.S. State Department strongly condemned the rebels' attack.  

Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam called the raid an attack against Lebanon and its people.

Salam says his government will not tolerate chaos and let matters get out of control. He says the army is working to restore security and stability in the Arsal region.

Violence stemming from the fighting in Syria often spills over into Lebanon.

Lebanese-based Hezbollah extremists have fought alongside Syrian government forces against the rebels trying to topple the Assad government.

Some information in this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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Comment Sorting
by: RationalRick from: USA
August 05, 2014 3:12 AM
Do you really think Israel needed to call up 30,000 to 40,000 Reserves just to fight Hamas in Gaza? No. They are getting the military up and ready for a flanking maneuver by ISIS through Lebanon, which ISIS has started now. Go through the weak link Lebanon, they encircle Jordan which they probably don't want to fight, go around Damascus and get resupplied from the sea. Isis can start a two front war with Israel in the north and northeast Golan Heights, with Hamas help in the south. Israel is getting ready for the fight of their lives.
In Response

by: Bartholomeo from: Lebanon
August 05, 2014 9:17 AM
very smart observation... there were no more than 2000 Israelis who fought Hamas... the rest were preparing for fight elsewhere...over 3000 conducted "maneuvers" in Northern Israel...Why..? the whole Arab world is silenced... i believe Israel is about to inflict some devastation on ISIL... with all the bullshit we say about Israel they do not want to see their Arab neighbors destroyed. They will not allow Lebanon to be murdered by ISIL.

by: TK from: Lebanon
August 04, 2014 1:00 PM
please do not say "Lebanon Military" say it like it is - its Hezbullah that fight against the Sunni Arabs - its an Iranian shia terrorist organization that destroyed our beautiful country.
In Response

by: Anonym
August 04, 2014 4:43 PM
Get your head out of the sand, Arsal is being fought by the lebanese military they may have backing from Hezb soon but the fight is with lebanese Military against these fanatic Cockroaches, I am no supporter of Hezb but you will be deluding yourself if you think for a moment that this wouldn't have happened eventually Hezb or not, they take over iraq, syria and then they will come for you whether you like it or not, and no one in the world will come to your aid, just open your eyes and look around you, did they come for Iraq's aid when it fell? hell no and that place is full of oil, you think they will come for Leb? think again. so why don't you say it like it is, support the army for saving your sorry ass or be ashamed of yourself.

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