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Base of Al-Nusra Leader is a Tunnel Dug by Palestinians in the 80s | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A picture taken on July 26, 2017 during a tour guided by the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement shows members of the group manning an anti-aircraft gun mounted on a pick-up truck in a mountainous area around the Lebanese town of Arsal along the border with Syria. (AFP PHOTO / ANWAR AMRO)

Bekaa (East Lebanon)- The escape of al-Nusra Front’s emir Abu Malek al-Talli from al-Qalamoun in Lebanon’s Jurud Arsal uncovered that he was using a fortified tunnel that the Palestinian Resistance had dug in the 1980’s as its headquarter.

The tunnel, around 400 meter, is located inside one of the mountains of Wadi al-Khalil, and was used by al-Nusra Front for detaining the Lebanese soldiers who were captured in 2014 and were later released.

Al-Talli vacated one of his biggest military locations, which he was personally using with 8 other leaders from al-Nusra. The tunnel is one of the largest rocky tunnels in the area, lying on the outskirts of Wadi al-Khalil in Jurud Arsal.

In the 1980’s, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine brought developed machines to dig and expand those tunnels with the help of local families affiliated with the movement.

The tunnels were used to store ammunition and weapons. Members of the Palestinian resistance had also taken those tunnels as a resting place after the hours of training in the Jurud area, to hide from the Israeli shelling.

The tunnels were left empty until 2014, when “Hezbollah” controlled al-Qusair and had forced al-Talli to withdraw to al-Jurud area where he took the tunnel as his military base and a center for his emirate.

The tunnel’s entrance has two doors. Inside, a 2-meter width corridor stretches 5 meters deep in the mountains with two rooms, each measuring 4 meters.

Al-Talli had transformed the tunnel into an operational room with a kitchen, a bedroom and a reception room.

“Hezbollah” found in the tunnels explosive devices and kitchen tools, in addition to food, medicine and walkie-talkies that were deliberately burnt before al-Talli left the place.

In the tunnel, there was also al-Talli’s black Abaya in addition to religious books that al-Nusra’s emir had to leave behind on the second day of the Arsal battle.