HERMEL, Lebanon: Lebanese authorities Tuesday delivered aid to residents and Syrian refugees in an east Lebanon border village besieged by Syrian government troops, bringing back seven wounded individuals including two Lebanese.
A convoy of Lebanese Red Cross ambulances and humanitarian trucks were accompanied by military and police forces as they made their way to Tfail. The trucks carried1,000 food packages and 6,000 liters of oil for fuel.
Red Cross ambulances along with a delegation from Dar al-Fatwa and the Union of Aid Organizations entered Tfail to deliver the aid and returned to Lebanon with five wounded Syrians and two Lebanese who were then transported to a nearby hospital.
A special security team, backed by emergency rescue workers, reached Ijir al-Harf, the last town on the Lebanon-Syria border where Hezbollah fighters are deployed, a security source told The Daily Star.
The security team, which did not enter Tfail, assembled in the main square of Brital near the eastern city of Baalbek in the morning before embarking on its mission shortly before midday.
The group is made up of officers from the Lebanese Army, Internal Security Forces and General Security.
Tfail, which lies in an enclave surrounded by Syrian territory, was cut off from the rest of Lebanon after the only accessible road to the Bekaa Valley came under Syrian army control as part of the regime’s offensive to root out rebels in the Qalamoun region.
Head of the Higher Relief Committee Maj. Gen. Mohammad Kheir told reporters before the humanitarian convoy left for Tfail that the town was free of Syrian rebels.
“There are no militiamen in Tfail,” Kheir told reporters, adding that he was ready to offer any type of assistance to residents.
“Under the instruction of the interior minister, we are ready to respond to calls for help from Tfail residents,” he said.
Residents said the village, home to 3,000 Lebanese and around 5,000 Syrian refugees, came under heavy bombardment last week but none of the residents agreed to flee into Lebanon, a security source said.
Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk devised a plan to assist Lebanese living in Tfail in coordination with Hezbollah and the country’s various security agencies.
Machnouk said that if the plan does not work, he would take the case to the Cabinet and file a complaint to the United Nations Security Council over the besieged village.
The Future Movement-affiliated minister defended his coordination with Hezbollah over Tfail, saying his priority was to manage the humanitarian impact of the crisis.