File - A truck drives in the northern border village of Dbabieh, Saturday, May 26, 2012, on a road used by smugglers between Lebanon and Syria. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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A weapons smuggler stands by the edge of Jabal Akroum in Akkar, along Lebanon's northern border with Syria, watching events unfold across the divide.Today, however, smuggled goods flow to Syria from Lebanon and include everything, notably weapons and fighters.Most have used the Jabal Akroum and Wadi Khaled routes to cross the border, entering where the geography is flat and Lebanese villages abut Syrian ones.Syrian weapons traders, who once crossed the border into Lebanon in order to transfer weapons, have been completely absent as of late, as orders for simple machine guns have been replaced by orders for advanced rocket launchers.According to smugglers' accounts, Lebanon's northern border has recently witnessed an increased movement of goods from Syria into Lebanon, after the Syrian regime allegedly gave instructions to Alawite villages of Akkar to transfer weapons, such as Kalashnikovs and PKCs, from Tartous and Safita into Lebanon.The smugglers confirmed that these operations garnered attention and led the authorities to make arrests in the towns of Abboudieh and Al-Hissa, along the border, as the weapons being brought into Lebanon were considered more dangerous than those smuggled into Syria because they have been used against Bab al-Tabbaneh residents.
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