Syrian rebels attack Lebanese army post

Published Saturday, September 22, 2012

Syrian rebels attacked a Lebanese army post near the border between the two countries, Lebanon's military said on Saturday. No casualties were reported.

On Friday night, "a large number of insurgents attacked a Lebanese army post in the Arsal region," according to an official communique. "This was the second time in less than a week that the Free Syrian Army has entered Lebanese territory."

"Army reinforcements were dispatched to the area and began to pursue the gunmen, who fled after the attack towards the mountains and several border towns and villages" inside Lebanon, it read, adding: "The army leadership will not allow any party to use Lebanese territory to implicate Lebanon in events in neighbouring countries, and reaffirms its determination to protect Lebanese territory."

The border between the two states, which spans across the north of Lebanon and down the whole length of the country on the east, is porous and not demarcated in several areas.

Sunni residents of the town of Arsal, 15 kilometers from the border, support the Syrian revolt and accuse Syria's army of carrying out regular incursions and kidnapping refugees.

But pro-Damascus Lebanese groups, such as Hezbollah, accuse the village of facilitating the smuggling of weapons and fighters to rebels across the border.

Shelling from Syria into Lebanon and cross-border shootings have become regular occurrences.

Lebanon's political parties are deeply divided over the Syrian revolt, with many Western-backed parties supporting the uprising and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah standing by its alliance with President Bashar al-Assad.

(AFP)

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