Bab al-Mezrab crossing in Qousaya. (The Daily Star/Osama Kadiri)
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With routes in Arsal effectively closed to extremist groups positioned in Qalamoun, speculation about where militants might carve out new supply lines next have centered on the villages lying east of Zahle.Security sources told The Daily Star that the Syria-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, led by Ahmed Jibril, has recently buttressed bases situated in the Zahle border villages of Kfar Zabad and Qousaya, in coordination with Hezbollah and Syria, stoking fears that another confrontation with Islamist militants is imminent. Sources also said that Hezbollah had erected new positions near PFLP-GC bases. Unlike other Palestinian factions in Lebanon, the PFLP-GC possesses military assets outside the camps, mainly in Hechmech, Kfar Zabad and Qousaya, among other areas.The second PFLP-GC main base is located in Sultan Yaqoub.The crossing, located in Qousaya, is the only means to enter the village outskirts, where the PFLP-GC is stationed.It includes PFLP-GC positions in Qousaya and Kfar Zabad, as well as Raeet and Deir al-Ghazzal.Gebran also harbored doubts about PFLP-GC bases east of Zahle."This was to prevent the regime from creating problems between us and the Lebanese".He also explained that Free Syrian Army commander Abdullah al-Rifai was on a mission to curb the reach of ISIS in Qalamoun when he was arrested by the Lebanese Army two weeks ago.
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