File - A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa June 29, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)
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The Lebanese Army must take the lead in the fight against militants linked to ISIS here as part of a regional coalition against the group, experts said, though Hezbollah is likely to remain a key player in the battle.The prospect of a regional coalition against ISIS has relevance to Lebanon, where the Army earlier this month fought a pitched battle for the border town of Arsal, a bastion of the Syrian opposition, which was briefly overrun by ISIS and Nusra Front militants.While Hezbollah is better armed than the Army, has more combat experience and probably a stronger drive to fight ISIS, it cannot be at the forefront of the fight without enflaming sectarian tension.Hassan said that any American airstrikes against the group in Syria is likely to increase the polarization around the conflict in Lebanon, especially if Hezbollah continues to fight there, enflaming Sunni anger.Hassan said the new anti-ISIS push will benefit Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, who are presenting themselves as the counterweight to ISIS.
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