Lebanese soldiers gesture while riding on an armoured vehicle as they leave the mountainous border town of Ras Baalbek January 24, 2015. REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah
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Last week's fierce clashes between the Lebanese Army and Syria-based jihadis near Lebanon's eastern frontier with Syria were part of the militants' major battle against the military, a senior ministerial source said.Eight soldiers, including an officer, were killed and at least 22 others were wounded in the clashes that erupted last Friday after the militants briefly overran an Army post in Tallet al-Hamra on the outskirts of the village of Ras Baalbek near the eastern border with Syria. More than 40 militants were discovered on the outskirts of Ras Baalbek, most of whom were killed in Army airstrikes on their vehicle convoy. The White House's announcement that there is a 50 percent chance of reaching an accord with Iran over its nuclear program, and the meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Davos, Switzerland, two days ago, signaled a sort of flexibility in the relations between the two countries that might reflect positively on the conflicts in the region.
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