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A thin red line of defense is emerging along Lebanon's northern border as the Lebanese Army builds a series of fortified watchtowers to help check the spillover from Syria's civil war, including the threat posed by extremist militants holed up in mountains east of Arsal.The Army has built 12 watchtowers so far, four of them along the northeast border between Namaat, east of Masharih al-Qaa, and Aaqabet al-Jourd, a hill 3 kilometers south of Arsal.Ras Baalbek is home to the headquarters of the 2nd Land Border Regiment, which operates the watchtowers in the northern Bekaa.Another group of militants split from the main force to launch an attack on Ras Baalbek, 8 kilometers north of Arsal.Construction on the fortified base and watchtower had only ended days earlier and apparently the militants were unaware it existed.Murad added that the situation was generally calm for now, but assessed that the onset of winter could force the militants in the mountains to attempt to move closer to Arsal, bringing them into contact with the Army.
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