The Lebanese army continues to target the posts of militants in the outskirts of Ras Baalbek and Arsal, amid “absence of any Hezbollah presence” after the latter handed over to the army its military posts on Lebanon's eastern border, media reports said on Friday.

“Hezbollah has no more positions in Arsal or Ras Baalbek. The army alone is positioned there and has expanded its deployment on the entire Lebanese eastern border,” a senior military source told newspapers on condition of anonymity.

The source slammed media reports claiming that Hezbollah has targeted the positions of the jihadist al-Nusra Front from Arsal, “if the party had carried out any operation on the outskirts, it may have launched them from its Syrian positions not necessarily from Lebanon.”

Last week, Hezbollah handed over to the Lebanese army its military posts in the outskirts of the eastern border towns of Tufail, Brital, Ham and Maaraboun.

The move came a day after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah declared that the group is dismantling its military posts along Lebanon's eastern border with Syria.

The group will however maintain a security presence on the Syrian side of the border to protect against any infiltration by militants.

The source said the army continues to target the militant positions in the said areas “the latest army airstrikes on the outskirts of Ras Baalbek and Arsal have achieved their objectives and proved once again that the army is ready for all possibilities against the gunmen.”

On Wednesday, Lebanese army helicopters targeted posts of the Islamic State group in Ras Baalbek's outskirts as the army's artillery targeted cars carrying Nusra Front leaders in Arsal's outskirts.

Significant casualties among al-Nusra's leaders have been confirmed.


Naharnet