Army Pounds IS Posts in Bekaa Outskirts amid Helicopter Raids
The Lebanese army launched major operations Monday evening in the outskirts of the Bekaa border towns of Ras Baalbek and al-Qaa, state-run National News Agency reported.
“It is firing heavy artillery and multiple rockets launchers at the posts of the militants after detecting suspicious movements,” NNA said.
“Helicopters are hovering heavily over the area and the sounds of shelling are being heard clearly in the northern Bekaa region,” the agency added.
Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) said army helicopters fired several missiles at IS posts in Ras Baalbek's outskirts.
Al-Mayadeen television meanwhile reported that the army had destroyed a large IS post between the outskirts of Ras Baalbek and the outskirts of al-Qaa.
“More than 20 IS leaders and members were killed and wounded in Lebanese army air raids on Ras Baalbek's outskirts,” it added.
TV networks later said that the army had targeted "a meeting for the IS group in Ras Baalbek's outskirts, killing and wounding several militants."
Earlier in the day, Hizbullah had attacked IS posts in Ras Baalbek's outskirts, killing and wounding several militants, Hizbullah's al-Manar TV said.
Jihadist militants from the IS and the rival Fateh al-Sham Front are entrenched in rugged mountains along the Lebanese-Syrian border.
The Lebanese army regularly shells their positions while Hizbullah and the Syrian army have engaged in clashes with them on the Syrian side of the border.
The two groups overran the northeastern border town of Arsal in 2014 and engaged in deadly battles with the Lebanese army for several days.
The retreating militants abducted around 35 troops and policemen of whom four have been executed and nine remain in captivity.