Battles Escalate, Spanning Borders at Syria-Lebanon Frontier

Rebels, Hezbollah Fighters Pour Across Border for Yabroud Fight

The fighting continues to pick up around the Syrian border town of Yabroud, the last rebel-held town on the border with Lebanon. The fighting is escalating all the time, as both sides get reinforcements from across the increasingly meaningless border.

The Sunni town of Arsal, in Lebanon, has become a rebel haven, as they smuggle weapons into Syria regularly through that town. Hezbollah, meanwhile, continues to send more fighters for the Assad government’s side across the border.

The value of Lebanon as a smuggling route for the rebels is the primary target of the recent military offensive, and if the Syrian Army manages to retake Yabroud it will effectively shut the border to the rebels, weakening their hold in the region.

Rebels have treated border crossings across the country as particularly important, often fighting with one another over the control of crossings into Turkey, where they can demand a cut of any arms smuggled in by other factions.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.