BEIRUT: Two Hezbollah members were killed during battles with rebels in Syria which also left 12 members of the opposition dead, a Lebanese security source told The Daily Star Sunday.
“In the past two days, 12 Syrian rebels were killed and 30 wounded while two Hezbollah members were killed and 17 of them were wounded,” the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.
He added that the fighting between Hezbollah and rebels in the Syrian town of Qusayr where a majority of Lebanese Shiites reside intensified since Friday.
Qusayr is located 5 kilometers from the northeastern border with Lebanon.
Although there are an estimated 30,000 Lebanese in the Syrian area, many have fled to the eastern town of Baalbek and Beirut because of the violence.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s spokesperson Ibrahim Musawi said he has no official information with regards to the media reports.
“I don’t have official information about the incident ... but we have said that there are Lebanese fighting in their villages [in Syria],” Musawi told The Daily Star.
Hezbollah has repeatedly denied that the group is sending members to fight alongside government forces against the opposition.
Last year, the head of the resistance group, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, said that a Hezbollah commander by the name of Ali Hussein Nassif was killed in a Syrian border area inhabited by Lebanese that was frequently the target of bombardment by Syrian rebels.
“Abu Abbas [Nassif] is a commander of the group’s infantry unit in the Bekaa ... he is then responsible for the Hezbollah members in that area and because these border towns continue until this day to be attacked [by Syrian rebels], martyrs have fallen and Abu Abbas was one of them,” Nasrallah said during a televised speech in October of 2012.
He added that the Syrian town, which he did not identify, was among 23 others with mainly Lebanese populations that had armed themselves to fend off attacks by the Free Syrian Army.
However, Nasrallah was quick to note that residents were acting alone and without any involvement from Hezbollah.