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Robert Fisk: ISIL Brings War to Lebanon

Local Editor

British journalist Robert Fisk wrote in “The Independent” Tuesday that after all warnings about a war that would spill over Syria’s border, the Abu Baker Al-Baghdadi “savage” fighters have arrived in Lebanon.

Fisk wrote that the bloody events are the same that accompanied the expansion of the terrorists and extremists in Iraq and Syria: reports of executions against civilians, government soldiers being held hostage, and at least 12 civilians confirmed dead, including five children.

Fisk acknowledged that the world’s attention is currently concentrated on the slaughter in Gaza, which was dominated by the events taking place in Syria and extended the organization of the ISIL in Western Iraq.

However, he added that in the event that the implications being seen in Arsal extend towards north Lebanon, the battles would be “much more serious” than those being witnessed in Gaza.

“In Arsal, the fighters – officially from Al-Nusra, whose members are already joining those of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s caliphate – adopted their usual practice of seizing large buildings in the centre of the town (in this case, the technical college, a hospital and a mosque) and clinging to them in the hope that their opponents would disintegrate,” Fisk wrote.

“The Lebanese army, which has twice defeated Islamist rebellions inside Lebanon in the past 15 years, claimed to have retaken the college, but the statements from both the Lebanese commander and Prime Minister may be taken as accurate: that the takeover of Arsal had been preemptive and is part of a far greater rebel strategy.”

Fisk went on to say that Sunni Muslims make up the majority of the Lebanese forces, who are among the best integrated of Middle East armies. However, “this has never prevented them from subduing Sunni Muslim rebels in the past, first at Sir el-Diniyeh in 2000, and then within the Palestinian camp of Nahr el Bared in 2007, at a cost of almost 500 dead soldiers, fighters, and civilians.”

The British journalist said the Lebanese army tried in vain, for more than a year, to close the eastern border of Arsal. He added that the Syrian army’s victory over rebels in Yabroud earlier this year suggested that the armed groups might leave Arsal before being eliminated.

Robert Fisk said that the battle between militants opposed to Syria – who are also responsible for the recent bombings in Lebanon – and the Lebanese army are inevitable.

Source: Al-Manar

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