BAALBEK, Lebanon: A delegation from Lebanon’s top Sunni body, Dar al-Fatwa, visited areas in the north Monday that recently came under intense cross-border shelling from Syria to offer support and relief to families affected by the attacks.
The delegation, headed by Mufti of Baalbek-Hermel Sheikh Khalid Solh, visited the village of Tfeil, carrying 300 aid packages of food, household supplies and medicine from the body.
Local leaders and Army personnel accompanied Solh on the trip.
“The villages seem to be going through a crisis as they have no electricity, no water, no flour, and no bread or other food supplies. The villages usually secure basic food stuffs from inside Syria and now this is almost impossible because of the ongoing events,” Solh said at a reception for the delegation.
The Syrian army has crossed into Lebanese territory a number of times since the since the beginning of the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s rule, ostensibly in response to cross-border attacks.
The raids have also been accompanied by shelling from Syria, which has killed a number of Lebanese and damaged property.
Solh said he would work to relay concerns about the village’s isolation, and the minimal military presence to senior political figures.
Specifically, Solh said he would help make sure the village is well connected to the local city of Baalbek.
Tfeil mukhtar Ali Shoum echoed Solh’s words, calling for the government to pay attention to the challenges caused by the shelling.
“We are calling on the country’s top leaders to take a look at the situation in the village, which had 5,000 residents of whom only 500 remain,” Shoum said.
Shoum said villagers have been forced to flee to a number of Syrian villages as Tfeil is so isolated from the rest of Lebanon. Villagers are unable to harvest their crops due to the shelling, Shoum added.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati has instructed Lebanon’s ambassador to Damascus to protest over the shelling that has been ongoing for months.