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Hezbollah Fallback in Arsal, Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Media ID: 55352019

Lebanese security forces gather near Arsal. AFP

Beirut-Over the last few days, previously known frequent clashes ravaging the town of Arsal on the Lebanon-Syria border have been reduced to sporadic shelling and attacks staged among the Syrian Opposition, al-Nusra Front and the so-called Lebanese Hezbollah militants.

Syrian sources also told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Hezbollah had shown a notable fallback in the area, and has cut back the number of members deployed in the area.

The so-called Hezbollah militants led on Sunday an attack against al-Nusra Front quarters on Arsal’s southern outskirts. Most Lebanon and Syria field sources considered the attack to be a part of routine maneuvers and attacks which Hezbollah partake in.

Syria sources confirmed that the strike Hezbollah staged was the first in a month, with no background activity, which denotes the actuality of its fallback.

Revolutionary Command Council member in Damascus Ismail al-Darani told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Syrian Opposition fighters located in the rural areas of Arsal and western Qalamoun Mountains have not witnessed any Hezbollah progressive activity.

He said Hezbollah militants have remarkably decreased in numbers over the last period.

The current inhibition of Hezbollah presence in the region is a first, he added.

Al-Darani explained that clipping the number of Hezbollah militants could be traced back to the fact that the group had overwhelmingly taken on many other battlefronts inside Syria.

Sources revealed that Hezbollah activity in Arsal has been restricted to striking extremists in Arsal. Sources also told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Hezbollah had put off a previously arranged plan for a vast military operation in Arsal last March.

Hezbollah had replaced its former strategy with a new one which focuses on draining down the powers of armed Opposition in Arsal’s rural areas without the necessity of large-scale investment.

Taking advantage of curtail of Assad regime forces and so-called Hezbollah presence on borders, the Syrian Opposition ensures that launching operations in the zone is underway.

Al-Darani said that the Free Syrian Army and al-Nusra Front forces have taken a decision to ambush militant locations and to deploy snipers.

The snipers would be missioned to takedown Hezbollah sites and militants. He pointed out that Opposition forces had staged three attacks over the past two weeks, which had resulted in grave losses among Hezbollah ranks.