Results tagged “Lebanon”
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The Army shelled terrorist positions in Arsal and killed a number of militants. The Al Nusrah Front claimed a suicide car bombing on a Hezbollah checkpoint in Khreibeh near the Syrian border that reportedly killed three people and destroyed a cannon. Al Nusrah released a video of its execution of a captive Lebanese soldier, and threatened to kill a captive Lebanese policeman. The Army arrested two suspected militants in Arsal. Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said terrorists holding captive Lebanese security forces are seeking to incite Sunni-Shia strife.
Interior Minister Machnouk said Lebanon will combat terrorism without coordinating with the international coalition. The mayor of Arsal dismissed rumors that residents are providing fuel to terrorists. Relatives of the over 20 kidnapped Lebanese troops urged the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State to stop making death threats against their sons. Security forces are concerned about reports that the IS is financing terror cells in the Ain-al-Hilweh refugee camp, and that extremists based in the camp are planning to destabilize Sidon.
The Army killed "dozens" of Al Nusrah Front militants who were fleeing clashes with Syrian forces near the border in Qalamoun. Security forces arrested three Syrians accused of membership in an armed terrorist group in Baalbek. Army intelligence recently detained a Saudi commander of a 100-fighter Islamic State group after he arrived in Beirut from Turkey; security forces also arrested an IS field commander and his son in Tripoli. Tiring of negotiations with the government, Al Nusrah threatened to kill a captive Lebanese soldier, and released a kidnapped civilian in Arsal. The head of the Lebanese Forces party praised Lebanon's decision to join the US-led coalition against the Islamic State, but Hezbollah has denounced it.
Syrian jets shelled a 400-meter tunnel near the border town of Arsal. The Al Nusrah Front released a video showing two kidnapped Lebanese soldiers pleading for the release of Islamist inmates from Roumieh Prison. Al Nusrah also warned Lebanese politicians that Hezbollah must be pulled out of Syria "in order to preserve the safety of your children." An Army official said Qatar is mediating separately with Al Nusrah and the Islamic State over the fate of the kidnapped security forces. The Syrian government accused Qatar of supporting terrorism by paying large ransoms to terrorist kidnappers. A recent Western diplomatic report warns of the increasing threat the Islamic State poses to Lebanon.
Authorities conducted raids in Tripoli, and arrested three men wanted by Interpol, including Sami Mohammed Dib Bakir a.k.a. Minaa, a Syrian said to be a dangerous member of the Al Nusrah Front. State media also reported "moves by Nusrah-linked armed groups." Gunmen kidnapped a Lebanese man in Arsal reportedly because he was working with Hezbollah.
Militants from the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State raided three quarries in Arsal, smashing equipment and taking away several bulldozers into the hills. Tripoli Osama Mansour, 27, the head of a 20-member group of militants, expressed admiration for the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State but denied that his group had sworn allegiance to either of the two. Sheikh Mustafa al Hujeiri a.k.a. Abu Taqiyeh withdrew from negotiations for the release of kidnapped Lebanese soldiers, citing a threat of assassination by a known group. Security forces defused a bomb in Sidon. The US delivered more Hellfire missiles to Lebanon and promised to provide an armed Cessna aircraft.
The Army defused a 100-kilogram car bomb in a vehicle parked near a military checkpoint in Arsal; the Army had targeted jihadists in the area the night before. At least four Hezbollah fighters were killed in fighting against jihadists in a Bekaa Valley town. A Hezbollah official claimed that the group is coordinating with both the Syrian and Lebanese armies regarding security on Lebanon's eastern border, and said that the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State are working together in the Qalamoun area even though they are rivals for territory in Syria. Maronite Bishop Rai urged the world to mobilize against the Islamic State, as its threat extends beyond the Middle East, and noted that Pope Francis has stated that "Christians have never been as persecuted as they are today." Foreign Minister Bassil said the Islamic State must be defeated, not contained.
Police arrested two Lebanese men suspected of spraying pro-Islamic State graffiti in Tripoli; the graffiti threatens that the IS is coming. Security was stepped up around a Beirut hospital said to be treating wounded members of the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State. Foreign Minister Bassil called for a united international front against the IS, and said Lebanon is impatient at the delay in receiving promised French arms.
A Beirut hospital is treating six Al Nusrah Front terrorists wounded during clashes in Arsal last month; three are Lebanese, two are Syrians, and one is a Chechen. One of the six is said to be "very dangerous." Two rockets from Arsal landed in the Bekaa Valley. One of the Lebanese soldiers abducted by Al Nusrah was allowed to visit his family briefly.
The Islamic State said that Abou al-Hassan al-Filastini a.k.a. Ahmed Taha, its emir for Qalamoun, was killed while fighting the Lebanese Army in Arsal on Aug. 4. Taha was said to have earlier joined the Abdullah Azzam Brigades. The Army arrested three Syrians and three Lebanese in Ras Baalbek yesterday, and confiscated "109 detonators, reels, igniters and fuses, in addition to six bags containing chemical substance" from them. The continuing captivity of over 20 Lebanese troops held hostage by the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front is sparking unrest in the Bekaa Valley.
The Al Nusrah Front threatened Sunnis that they will "pay the price" if they support the Lebanese Army in its fight against "your brothers, the mujahideen." Al Nusrah and the Islamic State are said to have told Qatari mediators that they want $5 million and the release of 400 Islamist inmates from Lebanese jails in exchange for releasing kidnapped Lebanese troops. Gunmen reportedly clashed with Hezbollah fighters on the outskirts of Arsal, just hours after the Islamic State claimed to have beheaded another captive Lebanese soldier. Gunmen broke into the house of Deputy Speaker Makari in Anfeh, beat and tied up the guards, and stole two rifles. A Syrian gunman was killed after attacking an army intelligence patrol in al Qaa. A second shipment of arms and ammunition arrived from the US for the Lebanese Army.