Lebanese army raids Syrian refugee camp in Arsal
Lebanese army checkpoint in Arsal. (AFP/File)
A Lebanese army unit Thursday raided a Syrian refugee camp on the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal in search for Islamist suspects.
A security source told The Daily Star two army patrols carried out the raid on the Babeen refugee camp in Wadi Hmeid on the outer edge of Arsal.
The source said no arrests were made following the 2:15 p.m. raid. The presence of the army patrols consisting of several vehicles which passed through Arsal to reach the camp initially led some to believe that a major military operation was underway.
The raid comes amid a debate over how to deal with the presence of thousands of jihadis, mostly from ISIS [Daesh] and the Nusra Front, who have taken foothold on Arsal's outskirts.
Arsal and its outskirts, which host tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, are seen as safe havens for Islamic radicals. Jihadi groups based on Arsal's outskirts briefly overran the town last August, sparking a five-day battle that killed dozens.
ISIS and the Nusra Front are still holding 25 soldiers and policemen captured during the battle.
March 8 leaders in recent days have called on the army to oust jihadis from the outskirts. A cabinet session is scheduled to debate the issue Monday.