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article imageSyrian rebels clash with Lebanese military near border

By Ken Hanly     Sep 24, 2012 in World
Beirut - Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels attacked a Lebanese military post near the Syrian border. After a brief gun battle the FSA rebels fled into the mountains. The Lebanese military has sent reinforcements to the area.
A statement from the Lebanese Army said that the attack was the second time in less than a week that a Free Syrian Army unit had entered Lebanese territory. There were no casualties reported in the latest clash. The Lebanese Army has sent units into the mountainous area to track down the rebels.
The Syrian rebels cross into Lebanon to avoid the Syrian military. The Syrian military so far has not crossed the border in pursuit, no doubt fearing an international incident. Speaker of the Lebanese parliament, Nabih Berri, said he supported moves by the Lebanese Army after the attack on the weekend in the north east by the border with Syria.
In newspaper interviews Berri said:“We have said it over and over again... the army is a red line. Let it fulfill its tasks, it is just carrying out its responsibilities to the fullest [of its capabilities]." Many Sunni Muslims in Lebanon are supporters of the rebels while Hezbollah supports the Assad regime. The conflict has at times spilled over into Lebanon.
Some time ago there were clashes in Tripoli between those supporting and those opposed to the Assad regime. In the resulting violence 17 people were killed before a truce was established. Those supporting the rebels in Lebanon opposed the move of the Lebanese army to pursue the rebels who had come across the border. Berri said of those opposing the move:“Such voices will not affect the army’s national role which we fervently support. The army is above such statements anyways."
Lebanon has not only been impacted by an inflow of refugees and division within the country but has also faced a wave of criminal activity including kidnappings. The appended video shows some of the background of the situation in Syria. Many fear that the Syrian conflict could serve to reignite civil war in Lebanon..
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