Lebanese Army Mobilizing to Avert Threats by Jihadists in Syria's Qalamounإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Lebanese army is reportedly mobilizing troops in preparation for a possible battle along the border near the strategic Syrian town of Qalamoun.
Speaker Nabih Berri stressed on Sunday in comments published in the pan Arab daily al-Hayat that Hizbullah should engage in the Qalamoun battle alongside the Lebanese army.
“The Syrian gunmen are present on Lebanese territories and control 600 kilometers on the outskirts of Arsal and other regions, where they are killing people,” Berri's visitors quoted him as saying.
He pointed out that “as long as they are occupying a Lebanese land then I support the resistance's endeavors to free it.”
“We have no doubts that the battle will flareup at some point.”
Berri told his visitors that the “Lebanese army's role is to safeguard the Lebanese towns and not enter Syria to engage in battles with gunmen.”
The speaker voiced fear that the Lebanese will be divided over the Qalamoun battle and Hizbullah's role in it, but he reiterates that “the aim is to get rid of the Syrian armed men and prevent them from entering Lebanon.”
For his part, Syrian Social Nationalist Party MP Marwan Fares told the Kuwaiti al-Seyassah newspaper that the Lebanese army is deploying heavily in the area.
“The battle could start in hours,” he told the daily.
Fares expressed fears of the residents in the border region of al-Qaa in the northern Bekaa, near the Syrian Qalamoun town, from the expected battle with jihadists.
However, he stressed that the parties present in the area, in particular Hizbullah and the SSNP and the Baath party, are ready to aid the Lebanese army in its battle against terrorism.
Al-Nusra Front announced on Sunday via its account on Twitter the end of the training of its troops, who are currently deployed on al-Qalamoun mountain peaks.
Fighters linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Syrian al-Qalamoun have been allegedly mobilizing and moving closer to the border with Lebanon ahead of a battle along the country's eastern border.
The Lebanese army frequently clashes with the militants in their hideouts near the Syria border.
The IS, which controls several areas in Syria and Iraq, aims to spread to Lebanon as its fighters position in the outskirts of Bekaa towns bordering Syria and the Lebanese army is in adamant efforts to stop their efforts to infiltrate the country.
ISIL and al-Qaida-affiliate al-Nusra Front are battling in Qalamoun the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hizbullah forces alongside each other, with support from some smaller Islamist rebel groups.
Despite ideological similarities, the two groups are opposed and in conflict with each other in other parts of Syria, particularly in the north.