Report: Armed Groups to Advance into Lebanon from Eastern Borderإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The armed groups entrenched along Lebanon's eastern border are reportedly preparing to advance towards army posts on the outskirts of the northeastern villages of Ras Baalbek and Arsal, Ad Diyar newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Sources told the newspaper that there are around 3,000 to 4,000 armed man on the outskirts of the two villages, and coordination between the Islamist groups, in particular between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaida-affiliate al-Nusra Front resumed.
The sources said information indicates that the gunmen will try to advance towards Lebanese villages, especially if all the illegal crossings were blocked. The sources stressed that the army is on high alert and will retaliate to any attack or infiltration attempt by the armed groups.
The newspaper also reported that the Lebanese army fortified its position in the Bekaa region of Kfar Zabad and Majdal Anjar after obtaining information that militants will advance in the areas.
The report comes in light of a military operation on the outskirts of Ras Baalbek in line with efforts to secure villages near the eastern border with neighboring Syria. The Lebanese army seized last week two hilltop positions in the area.
Three soldiers were wounded in the operation, during which militant positions were shelled with artillery and heavy weaponry, the army said in its communique.
The statement did not name the militants, but most are believed to be from the Islamic State group. They and Nusra Front have been holding around 20 Lebanese soldiers and policemen hostage since August.
The army frequently clashes with the militants in their hideouts near the Syria border.