Lebanese Hezbollah stronghold hit by more Syrian rockets
A Lebanese policemen speaks on the phone while inspecting a damaged apartment after two rockets exploded in Shiah, a southern suburb of Beirut last week. AFP Photo
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Two Syrian rockets hit the Bekaa Valley city of Hermel Sunday morning, leaving no casualties, a security source told The Daily Star, a day after over a dozen projectiles from Syria struck the east of the country.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the two rockets Sunday landed in the Hara neighborhood of the city.
The Opposition Free Syrian Army has claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks, saying this was a response to Hezbollah's increasing involvement in Syria’s war alongside the Syrian regime.
While the attacks have mainly targeted Hermel since April, a barrage of Syrian rockets hit the district of Baalbek for the first time Saturday at dawn.
Early in the morning Saturday, one rocket hit Nasrieh, two landed in Nabi Sheet and another rocket hit Tamnin al-Tahta, the security source said.
Minutes later, four more rockets hit Sireen al-Fawqa and another rocket hit Sireen al-Tahta, both also towns in north Bekaa.
Another salvo of rockets struck the town of Sireen al-Fawqa before dawn, bringing the total number of rockets to over 16.
No casualties were reported in the barrage but a fire broke out in the outskirts of Sireen al-Fawqa due to the rockets.
Civil defense teams were able to put out the flames, the security source said.
The state-run National News Agency said four Syrians were arrested in the region on suspicion of being linked to the attacks.
Also Saturday, gunmen opened fire at around 2:30 a.m. at the Shiite shrine for Sayyeda Khawla at the southern entrance of the Bekaa city of Baalbek, a security source said.
The shrine and a nearby BMW vehicle were damaged in the incident.
Violence from the Syrian conflict has repeatedly spilled over into Lebanon during the two-year conflict.
FSA leaders have warned that attacks into Lebanon could increase if Hezbollah does not withdraw from Syria.
Sunday’s rocket attack coincided with aerial maneuvers by Israeli warplanes in the area.
The National News Agency said Israeli jets conducted low-altitude flights over the Bekaa Valley and other parts of east Lebanon.