Welcome to the war, Lebanon. After months of deliberately ignoring the growing presence of Jabhat al-Nusra (and now the IS) at Ba’albak in east Lebanon, the Lebanese Armed Forces have now conducted large-scale operations to cleanse this area once and for all.
Today, the Lebanese Army attacked a large convoy of a coalesced group of Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State fighters, deploying to the Qalamoun Mountains. The Lebanese Army successfully killed over a dozen terrorists and then engaged another group in violent clashes. During these clashes, the Syrian Arab Army eradicated over two dozen terrorists attempting to flee the Qalamoun Mountains from Syria. Sporadic clashes have taken place all day in Ba’albak, but the Lebanese Army has asserted its dominance over much of the province.
Sadly, two Lebanese Army soldiers were killed during the firefights and Lt. Jad Bakhala was wounded in the head. My prayers are with him and his family.
Jabhat al-Nusra is alleging that they have captured 20 Lebanese soldiers that they are holding hostage in exchange for Abu Ahmad al-Joma’a. I have received no confirmation that this is true.