Daesh, Nusra Front battle near Arsal forces residents to flee

Published January 30th, 2016 - 10:00 GMT
Lebanese army soldiers walk through the border town of Arsal. (Twitter)
Lebanese army soldiers walk through the border town of Arsal. (Twitter)

Fierce clashes renewed at noon Friday between al-Nusra Front and Daesh rival militant extremist groups in the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal, state-run National News Agency reported.

The violent fighting has left several militants dead and wounded from both groups.

The clashes spread to most areas in Arsal's outskirts and in Syria's Qalamoun where both Nusra Front and Daesh have posts.

NNA said there was ongoing fighting in al-Zamarani, Wadi al-Kheil, Khirbet al-Hosn, Qurnet al-Oueini, al-Malahi, Dahr al-Lizzabeh and al-Jarajir.

Meanwhile, the town of Arsal was witnessing “tensions between the residents and the militants,” the agency reported.

It also said the Lebanese army went on alert in the area and was intermittently shelling movements by the militants in Ras Baalbek's outskirts.

Later on Friday, NNA said the Daesh-Nusra Front clashes in Arsal's outskirts have resulted in the "death of five Nusra militants and the capture of six" at the hands of Daesh.

Daesh has also seized control of a Nusra Front camp between the areas of al-Malahi and Khirbet Hamam, the agency added.

Several Daesh militants were also killed in the fighting, including a senior official called Abou Maria, NNA said.

Expecting a nighttime intensification of the battles, several Arsal residents fled to the Bekaa city of Baalbek where they have relatives, the agency reported.

A truce had been reached overnight between the two groups, according to media reports.

The Lebanese army has shelled the posts and movements of both groups during the clashes between them in recent days.

Several Nusra Front militants were killed or wounded overnight when the army targeted their vehicle that was moving in Arsal's outskirts.

According to al-Akhbar newspaper, the fighting between the two militant groups first erupted after Nusra Front launched a surprise attack against Daesh along the Lebanese-Syrian border as a result of the siege laid by the Lebanese army and Hezbollah against the two groups.

The clashes, which have left scores dead and injured, have been described as the bloodiest between the rival extremists.

The militants of Nusra Front and Daesh clash with the army occasionally, but a major confrontation erupted in August 2014 when the two groups overran Arsal.

By Y.R.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material


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