A senior Hezbollah official has expressed concern about the threat posed by Daesh and al-Nusra Front terrorists to Lebanon’s northeastern border areas.
Sheikh Nabil Qaouk, the deputy chief of Hezbollah’s executive council, also said on Saturday the Lebanese resistance movement has played an active role in protecting Lebanese frontiers.
Sheikh Qaouk said the Takfiri danger of Daesh and the Nusra Front on the outskirts of the town of Arsal and the village of Ras Baalbek is “serious, real, comprehensive and continuous.”
“This danger must not be dealt with through complacency or disregard, as some are doing in Lebanon, who insist on ignoring these Takfiri gangs,” he said.
Qaouk further praised the cooperation between the Lebanese army and Hezbollah, saying joint action was of great strategic importance to protect Lebanon from extremist and Israeli threats.
“Through the cooperation…, Lebanon has been able to achieve what many large international coalitions [allegedly fighting] against terrorism in Iraq and Syria haven’t,” the Hezbollah official added.
Also on Saturday, a notorious Daesh commander operating in areas straddling the Syrian-Lebanese border was killed in a Hezbollah operation. The Lebanese al-Manar TV said the commander, identified as Abu Khattab, was killed in the northeastern Christian village of Qaa.
The village was recently hit by two waves of bomb attacks that killed five people and injuring almost 30 others. There has been no claim of responsibility for the deadly bombings, but security officials believe Daesh terrorists were behind the raids.
Lebanese army soldiers patrol near the site of bomb attacks in the Christian village of Qaa, on the border with Syria, June 28, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
Lebanon is suffering from the spillover of militancy in neighboring Syria, where foreign-backed terrorists have been fighting the Damascus government since 2011.
Daesh and al-Nusra Front, which is the Syrian branch of the al-Qaeda militant group, have been active on the areas situated close to the Syrian border.
The militants briefly overran Arsal in August 2014, taking several Lebanese army and police forces hostage, some of whom were executed. In December last year, most of the captives were released as part of a prisoner swap deal.
Hezbollah fighters have been assisting Syrian army forces inside Syria and have fended off several Daesh attacks inside Lebanon as well.
Hezbollah has repeatedly accused the Israeli regime of supporting militants in Syria, saying Tel Aviv provides assistance to terrorist groups such as Daesh and the al-Nusra Front.