The Lebanese military has reported a major military operation in the area along the Syrian border, in the town of Arsal, where they clashed with ISIS fighters, killing six and arresting 16. Among those arrested was a man sought for suspected involvement in a recent assassination of a police official.
The military sealed off Arsal during the raids, which targeted a “field hospital” being operated by ISIS. 27 people were initially detained in the operation, though 11 were released after it was learned they were not involved with ISIS.
ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra have recently been in some significant battles around Arsal, which houses some 50,000 Syrian refugees. Today’s raid was likely prompted by those recent reports of growing presences of the factions in the area.
The Lebanese security forces have struggled with the Islamist factions in Arsal, which have targeted police and border patrols for kidnappings in recent months. The groups have presented their attacks on Lebanese security forces as punishment for Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War.