HERMEL, Lebanon: Syrian government air raids on the outskirts of Arsal killed a child and a teenager and wounded five Friday, as seven rockets were fired from Syria toward the Lebanese border town of Brital.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, a splinter Al-Qaeda Syrian rebel group, claimed responsibility for three of the rockets that hit Brital and surrounding areas, saying the group was targeting “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 regime aircraft hit a rugged and remote area in Khirbet Younin 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 an 11-year-old boy, Mohammad Mustafa Ramadan, and a 19-year-old woman, Narimane 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 of the rockets that slammed into the Brital neighborhood of Wadi Shalah. The attack also caused damage to several homes, including that of Army officer Abbas Ismail.
Another five rockets landed on the outskirts of Brital, the sources said.
The Future Movement condemned the attacks, urging the government to deploy troops along the Lebanese-Syrian border. The group said the border areas were being exploited to “drag Lebanon deeper” into 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,” the group said.
It also described as “unfortunate” that the Lebanese borders were being left to the “mercy of Syrian warplanes and Assad’s rockets.”