BEIRUT: Hezbollah-backed Syrian regime troops Saturday took control of the Syrian territory surrounding the Lebanese village of Tfail, a Lebanese security source said.
Some 70 rebel fighters surrendered to the Syrian army and handed over their arms, the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Daily Star.
The Syrian regime has launched a military offensive to root out rebels in regions bordering Lebanon and Saturday’s operation succeeded in gaining control of the outskirts of Tfail on the Syrian side.
Syrian fighters who were in Tfail along with their families were allowed to return to Syria, the source said.
Dozens of Lebanese families have abandoned the village in recent days, fleeing clashes between the Syrian army and rebel forces.
Tfail is located east of Brital on a promontory of Lebanese territory surrounded on three sides by Syria and has almost been completely isolated as a result of the conflict in the neighboring country.
The Lebanese government was able to send two aid convoys with food and medical supplies into the village last month with the help of Hezbollah.
The Federation of Aid and Development Organizations in Lebanon asked the government Saturday to intervene to save the village and its residents, saying the village had been taken over.
“There was no resistance against those who entered the village, which only means that the residents are peaceful and there were no fighters inside the village,” a statement by the federation said.
The federation said “hundreds of women, children and elderly people, both Lebanese and Syrian refugees, have fled Tfail to surrounding mountains and valleys and we do not know what happened to them.”