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Lebanon News

Hezbollah foils rebels' attempt to recapture strategic hill

Lebanese soldiers patrol the border town of Arsal, in eastern Bekaa Valley March 20, 2014. (REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah)

HERMEL, Lebanon: Hezbollah foiled Sunday an attempt by armed Syrian rebels to recapture a strategic hill on the border between Lebanon and Syria, a security source told The Daily Star.

The source explained that the hill was located between the mountainous outskirts of the Lebanese Baalbek village of Arsal and the Syrian town of Flita.

The news came as fierce clashes continued over the weekend along Lebanon’s northeastern border with Syria between Hezbollah and Nusra Front fighters, the source added.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported on Sunday that a young Lebanese man Mohammad Omar Audeh was badly injured as a result of the clashes raging on the eastern mountain range.

Audeh, 20, was rushed to one of the hospitals in the Bekaa Valley region of Zahle.

The Syrian army, with the support of Hezbollah, has been able to retake a number of strategic points from rebels in the mountainous area extending from the outskirts of Syria’s Qalamoun region to the Lebanese border town of Arsal.

Media reports said that at least 4,000 fighters had found refuge in Lebanon’s eastern mountain slope, posing grave problems to the country’s stability and security. Hezbollah says it is on a mission to wipe out the pockets of rebels in the mountains.

Earlier this month, security reports said that Syrian rebels had plans to launch a massive ground operation on Lebanese villages bordering Syria and kidnap dozens of men, to be used as a bargaining chip to secure the release of Islamist prisoners held at Roumieh Prison.

Swiftly afterward, the Lebanese Army deployed at 100 new points in the Baalbek-Hermel villages of Al-Qaa, Ras Baalbek, Fakiha, Meqraq, Labweh, Swanieh, Nahleh, Younin, Maqneh, Bizalieh, Nabi Othman and Arsal.

 

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