BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Syrian airstrikes kill two in Lebanon border town

The house of Army officer Abbas Ismail was damaged as a result of rocket fire on the town of Brital, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

HERMEL: Syrian government air raids on the outskirts of Arsal killed a child and a teenager and wounded five others Friday, while seven rockets were fired from within Syria at the Lebanese border town of Brital.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), a radical Al-Qaeda-linked rebel group fighting in Syria, claimed responsibility for three of the rockets that hit Brital and the surrounding area, saying the group had targeted "the party of the devil's stronghold," a reference to Hezbollah.

It is unclear who was behind the other four.

Brital is strongly associated with Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside regime forces in Syria, while Arsal is known for supporting the Syrian opposition.

Security sources said five missiles fired by Syrian government jets hit a rugged and remote area in Khirbit Youneen and Wadi Hmayyed on the edge of the northeastern town of Arsal at 9:15 a.m., causing no casualties.

Another missile hit the outskirts of the northeastern town close to the Syrian border around 2:40 p.m., Deputy Mayor Ahmad al-Fliti told The Daily Star.

"I think this will continue because it seems they [the Syrian regime] are preparing for something bigger," Fliti said.

The afternoon attack killed 11-year-old boy Mohammad Mustafa Ramadan and 19-year-old girl Nariman Ishaq, a security source said. The wounded were transferred to Al-Maydan Hospital in Lebanon.

Less than three hours after the morning air raid, seven rockets fired from Syria landed in Brital.

A little girl, whose name and age were not immediately disclosed, was lightly wounded by two rockets of the rockets that slammed into the Brital neighborhood of Wadi Shalah. The attack also caused damage to several homes.

Another five rockets landed on the outskirts of Brital, according to the sources.

Border towns in north and east Lebanon have often come under aerial and artillery bombardment from both regime forces and the armed opposition since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began in March 2011.

The Future Movement condemned the attacks against Brital and Arsal, urging the government to deploy troops along the Lebanese-Syrian border which the group said was being used to "drag Lebanon deeper" in the crisis next door.

“Lebanese citizens in Arsal, Akkar and Brital and all the Lebanese in border towns are still waiting for Hezbollah to condemn, at least once, the crimes of the Syrian regime and its forces against their dignity and land, instead of burying its head in the Syrian sand which it is already drowning in,” the group said in a statement.

It also said it was unfortunate that Lebanese border areas were left to the "mercy of Syrian warplanes and Assad's rockets."

Separately, two Syrian brothers were attacked over what appeared to be a financial dispute, the security sources said.

Unidentified assailants opened fire on a motorcycle in Wadi Hmayyed, killing Ali Hussin Al-Kouz, known as Ali al-Natsha, 50, and wounding his brother.

Kouz's body was taken to a field hospital in Arsal, while his brother was taken captive by the attackers who reportedly took him over the border into Syria, the sources said.

 

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Summary

Syrian government air raids on the outskirts of Arsal killed a child and a teenager and wounded five others Friday, while seven rockets were fired from within Syria at the Lebanese border town of Brital.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), a radical Al-Qaeda-linked rebel group fighting in Syria, claimed responsibility for three of the rockets that hit Brital and the surrounding area, saying the group had targeted "the party of the devil's stronghold," a reference to Hezbollah.

Brital is strongly associated with Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside regime forces in Syria, while Arsal is known for supporting the Syrian opposition.

Less than three hours after the morning air raid, seven rockets fired from Syria landed in Brital.


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