BEIRUT – Violence surged in the Lebanese Arsal District, near the Syrian border on Tuesday. Local sources reported that the participants were Islamic State (ISIS) militants and the al-Qaeda splinter group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
ISIS initiated the clashes by shelling a checkpoint held by Fateh al-Sham in the Malahi neighbourhood of Arsal. ISIS militants then assaulted the checkpoint directly, ultimately seizing it. Local sources reported that scores of Fateh al-Sham fighters were killed.
“Fateh al-Sham fighters responded by storming an ISIS security checkpoint in the al-Shir District near the Arsal border heights,” a media source close to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham told ARA News. At least 15 ISIS militants were killed.
Jahbat Fateh al-Sham was previously known as Jabhat al-Nusra. In July the extremist group announced that it had split from al-Qaeda and was rebranding.
Both ISIS and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham hold positions in the Arsal Region and al-Qaa Heights near the Lebanese-Syrian border.
In August 2014, ISIS militants attacked a Lebanese Army base and took dozens of soldiers as hostages. Nine of the captured soldiers are still being held by the militant group.
Reporting by: Sameer al-Dawood | Source: ARA News
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