The Lebanese Army announced on Wednesday that it has killed five fighters belonging to the Syria-based Al Qaeda affiliated Al Nusra Front. The fighters were killed after clashing with troops while they were trying to infiltrate the northeastern border town of Arsal overnight on Tuesday.
One of the fighters is claimed by the army to be a Syrian national named Ghaleb Saeed Ghiyeh.
“The Lebanese Army opened fire on the militants, leaving a number of them killed and wounded,” Lebanon’s National News Agency said.
Lebanon’s northeastern town of Arsal town straddles the Lebanese-Syrian border, and Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front fighters took control of most of the town after they raided it in August 2014 and captured Lebanese Army soldiers.
Last month Hezbollah fighters alongside the Syrian army attacked Nusra Front positions in Qalamoun in southern Syria and forced the group to retreat towards the outskirts of Arsal.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, said in May his party would take action if the Lebanese army does not oust the thousands of militants in Arsal. This has caused a storm of criticism by his political rivals in Lebanon led by the “Future” movement.
Nasrallah said his group’s next battle will be with the ISIS after expelling Nusra Front fighters from the area.