The former Jihadist allies from the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham” (ISIS) and Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) are now at odds with one another in eastern Lebanon after spending nearly 2 years without confronting each other inside the ‘Arsal Barrens of the Beqa’a Governorate.
On Wednesday afternoon, several firefights were reported between Jabhat Al-Nusra and ISIS at the villages of Wadi Hamid, Al-Zimrani, Wadi Mira, and Al-Khayl in the ‘Arsal Barrens; these clashes lasted well into the evening and forced both the Lebanese Army and Hezbollah to concentrate their forces to this mountainous region in order to make sure the fighting was not going to spread.
ISIS captured several checkpoints and military posts from their former allies in the ‘Arsal Barrens, resulting in the expansion of their front-line positions to the Lebanese Army’s territory in the region.
The ISIS terrorists did not care much for civilian casualties, as they began to fire dozens of rockets into the Lebanese Army’s territory in Jaroud ‘Arsal, wounding a number of soldiers and civilians in the process.
Following the exchange of rockets and mortar shells, sporadic clashes were reported between the Lebanese Army and the ISIS terrorists in Jaroud ‘Arsal, marking the first time in several months that the aforementioned terrorist group has attacked the pro-government forces.