The Army assures that it is ready for all possibilities this spring. REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah
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In short, terrain conditions are ripe for the anticipated "spring battle" between the Lebanese Army and Islamist militants from ISIS and Nusra Front who are clustered in the rugged mountains along Lebanon's northeastern border with Syria. While Syria-based terrorist groups have reportedly been gearing up and preparing for the projected battle, which has so far been hampered by bad weather, the Army conducted a pre-emptive operation last month, seizing strategic hills from ISIS militants in the outskirts of the Christian town of Ras Baalbek. Mayor Hisham al-Arja appeared confident that there is no imminent battle in Ras Baalbek, in light of reports that ISIS militants have pulled out from the town's outskirts.The Army has massively reinforced its positions on the outskirts of Arsal and Ras Baalbek recently.Only 8 percent of ISIS fighters, who are originally from the border areas of Homs and Qusair remained in Qalamoun, a few kilometers across from Arsal and Ras Baalbek.
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