Lebanese troops are deployed in the Lebanese town of Arsal on the border with Syria on March 19, 2014 after the reopening of the main road out of the town after a night of tension
Lebanese troops are deployed in the Lebanese town of Arsal on the border with Syria on March 19, 2014 after the reopening of the main road out of the town after a night of tension © - AFP
Lebanese troops are deployed in the Lebanese town of Arsal on the border with Syria on March 19, 2014 after the reopening of the main road out of the town after a night of tension
AFP
Last updated: March 20, 2014

Syria air force raids Lebanon's Arsal

Syria's air force has carried out fresh strikes against Lebanon's border town of Arsal, causing no injuries, a Lebanese security official said on Thursday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the strikes may have been targeting rebels fleeing the Qalamun area where Syria's forces are on the offensive.

"Syrian helicopters carried out two strikes against the areas of Wadi Ajram and Khirbet Yunin on the outskirts of Arsal, just after 9:00 pm (1900 GMT)" on Wednesday, said the official.

"The strikes caused no injuries," he told AFP.

Syria's army and its Lebanese Shiite ally Hezbollah overran the rebel bastion Yabrud in the Qalamun mountains on Sunday and are now targeting other opposition strongholds along the frontier with Lebanon.

Mainly-Sunni Arsal has been periodically targeted with often deadly air strikes by Syria's forces in the past few months.

Arsal's residents support the Syrian revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, and the town is hosting tens of thousands of Syrian refugees.

Smuggling routes used by opposition forces to move fighters and weapons back and forth between Lebanon and Syria pass through the Arsal area.

In January, a cross-border rocket attack on Arsal by the Syrian army killed eight people, including five children.

Lebanon's National News Agency meanwhile said the army on Wednesday arrested 15 Syrian men at an Arsal checkpoint.

"The men had entered Lebanese territory with forged papers, and some of them were members of (Syria's Al-Qaeda affiliate) Al-Nusra Front."

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