Serious Spillover: Thousands Flee Lebanon Town As Troops Battles Syrian Militants
The Muslims are marching towards Lebanon, and they’re attacking and killing … other Muslims. Evidently the last portion of Sura 48:29 has been cancelled out, like so many other verses throughout the “timeless” Qur’an …
Qur’an Sura 48:29, “Mohammed is [Allah’s] apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless
to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.”
By Bassem Mroue, Associated Press – “Thousands of Lebanese civilians and Syrian refugees crammed into cars and pickup trucks fled a town in eastern Lebanon Monday as troops battled al-Qaida-linked militants from neighboring Syria who overran the border region in the most serious spillover into Lebanon of the three-year conflict next door.
The fierce fighting in Arsal, now in its third day, has killed 17 Lebanese soldiers and compounded fears that tiny Lebanon is fast becoming a new front in its neighbor’s conflict. The government rushed reinforcements to the scene, including dozens of armored personal carriers, tanks and elite troops, suggesting fighting was about to worsen.
The civilian exodus came in the early morning hours during a relative lull in fighting and just a few hours later the bombardment around the town of Arsal had reached an intensity of three shells every minute.
‘We call on the Lebanese army to strike with an iron first,’ said Mohammed Hojeiri, who fled Arsal with his family packed in an SUV Monday. ‘Those gunmen are terrorizing civilians.’
The clashes in Arsal, a predominantly Sunni town of 40,000 whose population has almost tripled because of the presence of Syrian refugees and rebels, could worsen already bubbling sectarian tensions in Lebanon. The town is wedged between Syrian government-controlled territory and Lebanese Shiite villages sympathetic to Lebanon’s premier Shiite militia, Hezbollah.
The Syrian government, which is battling a largely Sunni insurgency, has the support of Hezbollah.
Though the army has only said it is fighting ‘armed terrorists,’ without naming them, the government has linked the conflict regional developments, where an al-Qaida breakaway group known as the Islamic State has declared a self-styled caliphate in border areas straddling Iraq and Syria…
Lebanon’s state-run news agency said the rebels were looting homes and shops in Arsal and a resident on the outskirts told The Associated Press that the militants were committing ‘atrocities’ and shooting at people attempting to flee.
‘The rebels feel protected by the civilians there,’ he said, confirming there was widespread looting with rebels taking over civilian homes to use as military posts.” Read more.
Flashback: A Kingdom Divided: Hardline Lebanese Sunni Muslim Cleric Warns That ‘War Is Coming To Lebanon’ – “Hardline Lebanese Sunni Muslim cleric Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir warned on Friday that ‘a war is coming to Lebanon’ as Syrian rebels and their Lebanese supporters prepare to launch attacks against Hezbollah ‘everywhere.’ Sheikh Assir said in a Friday sermon that a response to Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria could happen in a ‘few days’ and will take place ‘anywhere’ including Lebanon… Senior Muslim Sunni voices have accused Hezbollah of starting a sectarian war by intervening in Syria against the Sunni opposition.” Read more.