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In entering the fray in Arsal, the Army has immersed itself in the treacherous dynamics of Syria's civil war.By trying to close off the Lebanese-Syrian border, a legitimate aim in principle, the Army is effectively participating in strangling the Syrian rebels in the Qalamoun district. The Army can say that it is trying to guarantee that the conflict in Syria does not reach Lebanon. In private conversation, a Lebanese ally of Syria admits that the bulk of the armed men in Qalamoun are inhabitants of the area who were forced to evacuate their towns and villages when the Syrian army and Hezbollah went on the offensive last year.If Bashar Assad and the party cannot prevail militarily in Syria, Hezbollah may eventually have to consider a fallback strategy to contain the consequences of the Syrian conflict inside Syria.While it is improbable that Hezbollah will embrace such a reality, the Lebanese Army can tell the party that it refuses to be drawn into Syria, and intends to find a means to ensure this.The Army is not doing enough to stay clear of the Syrian war, and this can benefit only Hezbollah and Assad.
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