Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV reported today that five Islamist infiltrators, who they identified as ISIS, were killed in the Bekaa Valley, in a mortar attack by Hezbollah fighters. The ISIS fighters had just entered from neighboring Syria.
The Bekaa Valley has been the site of repeated infiltration from Islamist factions from neighboring Syria, with ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front both often moving in to target Lebanese Shi’ites, nominally in retaliation for Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War.
Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria has been hugely controversial within Lebanon, specifically because of this fear that it’s encouraging infiltration attacks, though ISIS in particular has made no bones about its desire to spread its territory region-wide, allowing Hezbollah to argue the infiltration was going to happen either way.
There’s been some question about this latest mortar attack, and whether the forces killed were actually ISIS or al-Qaeda. The report did not indicate how they were identified as such, and al-Manar reported that there was no clash following the attack.