Lebanon deploys about 3,000 troops at border to fight Daesh

The Lebanese army completed all preparations for its battle with Daesh in the Arsal area, Ras Al-Baalbek and the town of Al-Qaa. — Reuters

BEIRUT — The Lebanese army has completed all preparations for its battle with Daesh (the so-called IS) in the Arsal area, Ras Al-Baalbek and the town of Al-Qaa on the Lebanese-Syrian border, according to reports.

This comes after the army strengthened its presence by deploying about 3,000 troops in the northeast of the country.

On the other hand, the sources said that planes belonging to the Syrian regime bombed deep in the Lebanese-Syrian borders, while informed sources said that rocket and artillery shelling of the Lebanese army on the positions of Daesh in Jarod Al-Qaa have resumed.

This comes in response to Daesh launching seven Grad missiles in the vicinity of the town of Al-Qaa inside Lebanon from its stronghold on the border with Syria, without causing any casualties, according to security sources.

There are also concerns the offensive may subject Lebanon to retaliatory attacks by militants, just as the country has started to enjoy a rebound in tourism.

A Lebanese security official said authorities are taking strict security measures to prevent any attack deep inside Lebanon by sleeper cells. The official said authorities have detained several Daesh militants over the past weeks.

Lebanese politicians say the Daesh controls an area of about 296 sq. km between the two countries, of which 141 sq. km are in Lebanon.

In a televised speech last Friday, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said that once the Lebanese army launches its offensive from the Lebanese side, Hezbollah and the Syrian army will begin their attack from the Syrian side. He added that there has to be coordination between the Syrian and Lebanese armies in the battle.

"Opening two fronts at the same time will speed up victory and reduce losses," Nasrallah said, adding that his fighters on the Lebanese side of the border are at the disposal of Lebanese troops if needed.

"I tell Daesh that the Lebanese and Syrians will attack you from all sides and you will not be able to resist and will be defeated," he said.

"If you decide to fight, you will end up either a prisoner or dead," Nasrallah added. — Agencies