File - A general view of Ras Baalbek village, Thursday, July 17, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Disquiet is gradually trickling into the lives of the people residing in areas surrounding the embattled town of Arsal.Others in Ras Baalbek, he said, are expressing a generalized fear of violent spillover.Despite the deployment of the 1st and 2nd Army land border regiments, there is little doubt that the Lebanese-Syrian border still remains porous.As Lebanese Armed Forces expert Aram Nerguizian, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, explained, it takes time to build a truly effective border regime between any two countries. Both the border towns of Ras Baalbek and Al-Qaa established local patrols to ward off potential militant threats last year, if only until the Army could step in and take control.According to Nerguzian's analysis, the events in Arsal have demonstrated that it is no longer easy for militants to cross into Lebanon.There is no such thing as a perfectly secure border regime, and this is a cause for concern among the residents of towns near Arsal, including the mostly Christian Al-Qaa.In February, an Army Intelligence patrol apprehended a suspected leader of the Nusra Front, identified as Syrian national Nidal Sweidan, in Masharih al-Qaa, during a raid on a house in the border region.
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