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‘Hezbollah’ Preparing for Military Operation on Syrian Border | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A damaged SUV left behind by members of the al-Nusra Front in the fields of the Syrian border town of Aasal al-Ward, May 9, 2015. (AP)

Bekaa (eastern Lebanon) – “Hezbollah” will likely wage a new battle along the Lebanese-Syrian border in order to assert its control over the Syrian town of Fleita that lies near Lebanon’s northeastern region of Arsal.

Lebanese sources stressed that the upcoming battle will strictly take place within Syria and not on the Lebanese side of the border.

“There are no indications in Lebanon that preparations for any battle are being made,” they told Asharq Al-Awat.

“There are no gatherings for ‘Hezbollah’ members and the Lebanese army is deployed in the area as is required for it on the border,” they added.

“No extraordinary reinforcements have been witnessed,” they explained.

Circles close to the militant party have however spoken of the arrival of the elite so-called “Radwan forces” to Fleita, which lies five kilometers away from the Lebanese border.

Members of the Nusra Front are deployed on the hills in the area.

“’Hezbollah’ is seeking to carry out limited operations on the Syrian side of the border against al-Nusra Front in order to stop the group from launching attacks against it,” said the Lebanese sources.

They made their statements in reference to repeated attacks al-Nusra Front has staged against ‘Hezbollah’ locations in Fleita.

On Saturday, Syrian regime jets carried out airstrikes against al-Nusra Front’s positions in the area. It had made similar raids two days earlier in wake of an attack the group had carried out against a “Hezbollah” position in the area.

“Hezbollah” circles told Lebanon’s Markazia news agency that a battle in the region was imminent “because what is taking place on the outskirts is no longer bearable.”

“A fast decisive battle is linked to how prepared and fortified the armed groups are,” they said.

In addition, they said that “Hezbollah’s” militants will attack from Syria, not Lebanon. They will be backed by Syrian regime forces in order to surround the ISIS and al-Nusra Front members that are present in uninhabited areas.

The Lebanese army will meanwhile surround them from Lebanon, they added.

“We are coordinating our actions with the Lebanese army in order to limit human casualties as much as possible,” they stressed.

“There can be no turning back from this battle and it will not end until all gunmen have left the outskirts,” they added.

“Hezbollah” had also blamed al-Nusra Front for the recent failure to “voluntarily” return five Syrian families to their hometowns of Aasal al-Ward. The families were residing in Lebanon’s Arsal.

The militant group blamed al-Nusra for the failure, saying that it was using this file as a means to pressure it.