Trucks Deliver Aid to Besieged Tufail

Aid trucks delivered on Tuesday food packages and fuel oil to the residents of Tufail on the Lebanese-Syrian border through the backing of armed forces.

Tufail, which lies in eastern Lebanon in an area surrounded by Syrian territory, was isolated after the only road that leads to the town came under the control of Syrian government troops.

Scenes of jubilation accompanied the arrival of the aid trucks, while other residents expressed their anger against Syrian authorities despite their backing of Hizbullah.

“We only want the deployment of the Lebanese army in Tufail,” they declared.

“We do not want any support or aid from Syria. All we want is the Lebanese state's backing,” they added.

The Syrian military has made successes against rebels in the Qalamoun region with the support of fighters from Hizbullah since the government launched an offensive in November in the strategic area, a wedge of mountainous territory between Damascus and the Lebanese border.

Another dirt road leads to Tufail via Brital, but is in poor condition. The residents of Tufail, who are Sunnis, are afraid to pass through the Shiite town, which supports Hizbullah.

Tuesday's aid was delivered to Tufail's residents in the town of Ras al-Harf.

Tufail is now home to 3,000 Lebanese and some 5,000 Syrian refugees.

Maj. Gen. Mohammed Kheir, the secretary general of the Higher Relief Council, denied there were armed Syrian rebels in Tufail.

“Everyone agrees on the need to bring aid to its residents,” he told reporters before the convoy of aid left for the town.

The Mufti of Baalbek and Hermel also thanked Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq for his efforts to help the town's residents.



Source: Agence France Presse, Naharnet

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