Hezbollah says 3 fighters killed in Qalamoun/ Arsal official denies Nusra calling on refugees to join Qalamoun battle


 Arsal official denies Nusra calling on refugees to join Qalamoun battle
The Daily Star/May. 08, 2015

BAALBEK, Lebanon: The Municipality of Arsal Friday dismissed local media reports that claimed Nusra Front has called on Syrian refugees in the northeastern town to join the battle in Qalamoun along the Syria-Lebanon border. “These reports are mere rumors,” an official at the Arsal Municipality told The Daily Star. He was responding to reports published Friday in some Beirut dailies that said Nusra Front militants were trying to mobilize Syrian refugees living in camps in the northeastern border town of Arsal against Syrian government forces and Hezbollah in Qalamoun. The Syrian army and Hezbollah Thursday recaptured a large swath of strategic territory in the Qalamoun region following clashes that killed and wounded dozens of jihadis, security sources said, in fresh hostilities that threatened to further drag Lebanon into the Syrian war. Hezbollah and Syrian troops seized five “strategic hills” in the eastern part of Qalamoun, taking control over the towns of Assal al-Ward and Al-Juba, the sources said. Islamist militants had seized the two towns in previous battles. Security sources said Thursday’s clashes left 23 jihadis killed or wounded, while Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV said at least 10 militants were killed. The hostilities also left three Hezbollah fighters killed and six wounded, according to the sources.Hezbollah conceded it lost three fighters, a statement said Friday. A rocket fired from the eastern mountain range landed between the border towns of Brital and Taybeh at dawn Friday, causing no damage or casualties, a security source told The Daily Star.Meanwhile, the Lebanese Army has reinforced all its positions around Arsal. The source said troops and equipment have been sent to the area in recent days to supply existing forces, following the outbreak of the Qalamoun hostilities. The reinforcement is aimed at continuing to prevent any infiltration attempt by militants into Lebanese territory, the source told The Daily Star.

Hezbollah says 3 fighters killed in Qalamoun
The Daily Star/May. 08, 2015

BEIRUT: Hezbollah Friday said three of its fighters have been killed in this week’s fierce clashes in the Syrian Qalamoun region on Lebanon’s eastern border. In a statement, the party described as “lies” media reports that claimed dozens of its fighters were killed battling jihadis. Fierce fighting erupted Monday after Nusra-led fighters launched surprise attacks on Hezbollah and Syrian army posts along the border region with Lebanon. On Tuesday, Hezbollah ambushed a Nusra convoy in the Qalamoun, killing around 15 militants, according to a Lebanese security source. Fighting continued Wednesday and Thursday, with Hezbollah and the Syrian army recapturing five strategic hills in eastern Qalamoun and taking control of the Syrian towns of Assal al-Ward and Al-JubaThe Army of Conquest’s Qalamoun branch – a coalition of Islamist militants fighting in the area – claimed Friday on Twitter that clashes in Assal al-Ward killed over 60 Hezbollah fighters and wounded dozens of others.But the militants “tactically” withdrew from Assal al-Ward in an attempt to foil an attack by Hezbollah and the Syrian army, the tweet added. The Qalamoun branch of the Nusra Front had claimed on its Twitter account Wednesday that it killed about 40 Hezbollah fighters and ousted the the rest from Assal al-Ward