Syrian Jihadists attack Lebanese troops on border
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Syrian Jihadists attack Lebanese troops on border

Three militants said killed and soldiers injured in border town clash

File: Lebanese Army reinforcements arrive at the outskirts of Arsal, a predominantly Sunni Muslim town near the Syrian border in eastern Lebanon, August 4, 2014. (AP/Bilal Hussein/File)
File: Lebanese Army reinforcements arrive at the outskirts of Arsal, a predominantly Sunni Muslim town near the Syrian border in eastern Lebanon, August 4, 2014. (AP/Bilal Hussein/File)

Lebanese security officials and the state news agency said Friday that troops were clashing with militants who attacked army positions on the outskirts of a village on the Syrian border.

The National News Agency said the militants attacked Lebanese Army positions on Friday from the Syrian side on the outskirts of the northeastern village of Ras Baalbek.

Security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said Friday’s clashes left several people wounded on both sides.

Reuters reported that three militants had been killed in the fight.

The officials said troops were shelling jihadi positions with artillery.

Members of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State group have launched several such attacks in recent months.

In August, the al-Nusra Front and IS fighters conducted a joint raid in the border town of Arsal and captured some two dozen soldiers.

Meanwhile on Lebanon’s border with Israel the situation was also tense, with the Israel Defense Forces further bolstering its forces there in anticipation of a possible retaliatory attack by Hezbollah for an airstrike on members of the terror group allegedly carried out by Israel on Sunday.

According to defense officials, the IDF has mobilized ground and air forces to the border region and deployed Iron Dome anti-missile batteries throughout northern Israel as precautionary measures.

Israeli TV reports noted “a massive military presence” in the north, with locals speaking of the highest tension in the area since the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war.

Heightened tensions along the border are the result of a deadly airstrike that killed 12 Lebanese Hezbollah operatives and Iranian Revolutionary Guards members near Quneitra, on the border with Syria on Sunday. The dead included an Iranian general and a senior Hezbollah commander, Jihad Mughniyeh, son of slain terror mastermind Imad Mughniyeh.

The Israeli government has not confirmed it was involved in the airstrike on the record, but officials have admitted as much off the record.

Iranian officials have threatened harsh retaliation against Israel for Sunday’s strike. Revolutionary Guards chief Mohammad Ali Jafari said Tuesday that Israel should anticipate “devastating lightning,” according to the Iranian Tasnim news agency, and that Iran would widen its support for Muslim fighters in the Middle East “until the final collapse of the Zionist regime.”

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