Monday, March 18, 2013

  • Monday, March 18, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Naharnet:
Syrian warplanes bombed the border area with Lebanon for the first time on Monday, a high-ranking Lebanese army official told Agence France Presse, reportedly targeting Syrian rebel positions inside Lebanon.

"Syrian planes bombed the border between Lebanon and Syria but I cannot yet say if they hit Lebanese territory or only Syrian territory," the military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

But a Lebanese security services official on the ground confirmed that the warplanes had fired four missiles against Syrian rebel positions on the Lebanese side of the border.

He said the attacks targeted the town of Arsal, in east Lebanon, close to the Syrian border, where many residents back the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The National News Agency had reported: “Syrian warplanes bombed the outskirts of the towns of Khirbet Younin and Wadi al-Khayl in Arsal's barren mountains.

Meanwhile, according to al-Manar television, the warplanes planes had targeted two barns used by rebel forces in the Wadi al-Khayl area of Arsal.

Al-Mayadeen television said the neighboring country's army targeted the positions of gunmen in the towns of al-Dabaa and Jousiyyeh near the Lebanese border.

Local resident Suheil Fliti told AFP that the missiles had fallen in an agricultural area and there were no injuries in the incident.
Arsal is near the northeastern border of Lebanon, which would explain why Hezbollah - which openly backs and is fighting for the Syrian regime - didn't fight the rebels there directly. Hezbollah is based in the south, far away from Arsal.

(UPDATE: Amiyena in the comments points out that Hezbollah also has a stronghold in Baalbek, maybe only 20 km southwest of Arsal. See also here.)

Lebanese reaction to this attack will predictably go along party lines. Even though Hezbollah's entire raison d'etre is supposedly to defend Lebanon against "Israeli aggression" against Lebanon, those who support Hezbollah suddenly won't care a whit about Lebanon's sovereignty when the aggressors are their Syrian heroes .

Al-Joumhouria newspaper quoted the joint military command of the Free Syrian army as saying that the bodies of 38 Hezbollah fighters that were killed inside the Syrian territory have been sent to Lebanon to be buried secretly in in various villages .

“Most of them were killed in the Reef of Homs while four fighters were killed in Damascus,” the media head of the Free Syrian Army Fahed al-Masri revealed.

“The corpses were transferred secretly to Lebanon and arrangements for the burial were being made after buying the silence of the deceased’s relatives,” the newspaper reported.

It was hard to identify 10 corpses as a result of severe burns and injures, it added.

Hezbollah has in recent months allegedly buried a number of fighters killed in Syria, without publicly disclosing how the men were killed, or where.

On Sunday, a Hezbollah member that was killed while fighting in Syria was buried in southern Lebanon, several residents of the man’s village told AFP.

The residents said that the funeral of Hassan Nimr Shartouni, 25, was held in Mays al-Jabal after the arrival of his body from Syria where he was killed in fighting on Saturday.

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