Lebanon News

Army amps up security crackdown in Arsal

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

HERMEL/BEIRUT: A shootout by the Lebanese Armed Forces at the entrance of Arsal wounded a local resident Thursday, after security scares amped up the Army’s crackdown on Syrian rebel groups in Lebanon’s border region.

In the wake of increased kidnappings and shootouts by displaced anti-Assad groups, Lebanese forces continue to implement security measures to monitor the movement of armed refugees into the country.

Security forces have been going on daily raids, patrolling houses and refugee shelters for weapons, stolen vehicles, and suspects wanted for kidnappings and the use of firearms.

The vice chairman of Arsal’s municipality, Ahmad al Flaiti expressed his fear of escalating security threats in the village’s outskirts due to rising tension in adjacent Syrian territories.

According to Flaiti, the outskirts of Arsal have become dominated by armed rebels who have withdrawn from Syrian regions reclaimed by Assad’s forces. "[The Syrian region of] Qalamoun has witnessed a heavy influx of anti-Assad militants recently,” he added.

Gunmen who fled the Rankous area in Qalamoun have already escaped to the hills and valleys that separate Lebanon from its larger, embattled neighbor.

Flaiti hailed the efforts of the Lebanese forces, stating that measures taken are “necessary to ensure the security of the village’s residents.”

Armed forces also augmented security measures due to worries that Sunni jihadists in Iraq are set to target northern regions of Lebanon, after achieving great gains last week. The Army has stepped up preventative measures over fears that extremists affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria will spill over into Lebanon.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here