Syrian air raid kills 4 near Lebanese border town

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in Aleppo's Sheikh Najjar Industrial City after saying they have regained control of the area, on Friday.

Forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad walk in Aleppo’s Sheikh Najjar Industrial City after saying they have regained control of the area, on Friday.

BEIRUT: At least four people were killed and seven wounded in overnight air raids by Syrian forces on mountains and valleys near the Lebanese town of Arsal, security sources said on Friday, the latest spillover of violence into the border area.

The five air raids struck close to Arsal, an area sympathetic to the mostly Muslim rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

A police official said the airstrikes occurred early Friday, some 7 km within Lebanese territory in the northeast near the town of Arsal. He said one impacted near a jeep, killing the farmer. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, because he wasn’t allowed to speak to the media.

Al-Manar, a television station affiliated with the Lebanese group Hezbollah, said the strikes targeted gunmen.

Violence has regularly hit areas around Arsal. In January rocket fire from Syria killed at least seven people in the town and wounded 15.

Lebanon, which was pulled apart by its own civil war from 1975 to 1990, has been struggling to keep itself out of the three-year conflict in its much larger neighbor, which has stoked sectarian tensions across the region.

In Lebanon, groups have split along sectarian lines over the Syrian crisis and the country has faced increased car bombings in recent weeks, some hitting the capital Beirut.

Syrian warplanes occasionally strike in Lebanon, with supporters claiming they target gunmen. Syria’s conflict, now in its fourth year, has seeped into Lebanon. There are over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, while militants have bombed Hezbollah areas.

 

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