Tensions along the Syria-Lebanon border are rising yet again this weekend after a round of fighting along the border region between Syrian rebels and Lebanon’s Hezbollah faction left 15 fighters dead, including three Hezbollah members, and 44 others wounded.
The fighting is said to have taken place on both sides of the border, and centered on Shi’ite villages on the Syrian side, which have significant populations of Lebanese Shi’ites. The Syrian rebels are overwhelmingly Sunni, and have targeted Shi’ites in the past, accusing them of disloyalty.
Though details are sketchy, the Syrian rebels have accused Hezbollah, a Shi’ite militia whose political wing is part of the Lebanese government, of attacking Sunni villages, apparently in retaliation for moves against the Shi’ite villages.
They also accused Hezbollah of launching a “coordinated ground invasion” of Syria, with Free Syrian Army (FSA) spokesmen claiming 1,000 troops from the Hezbollah factions have marched into Syria over the weekend. The FSA has ordered civilians to leave the area.
The allegation of an “invasion” is just the latest in a series of dubious Syrian rebel claims aimed at convincing the international community to take the Syrian civil war regional.