Hezbollah, Syrian gunmen clash outside Beqaa town


A clash erupted overnight Saturday between a Hezbollah patrol and armed Syrians in the Jamaliya Valley on the outskirts of the eastern Beqaa town of Nahle, An-Nahar reported Sunday.

The Hezbollah patrol detected a group of armed Syrians in the area, after which a firefight erupted between the two parties, resulting in the death of one Hezbollah member and the injury of another, the online edition of the Lebanese daily said.

The report added that there were also casualties among the Syrian gunmen.

Nahle lies to the west of Syria’s Qalamoun, where Bashar al-Assad’s regime forces and Hezbollah fighters have battled rebels since mid-November.

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and his Shiite party’s media outlets have repeatedly warned that rebel groups operating in Qalamoun threaten Lebanon’s security.

As-Safir newspaper reported in October that the Qalamoun battle could cause an influx of Syrian rebel fighters into Lebanese territory.

In early June, Hezbollah fighters engaged in a firefight with Syrian rebels on the outskirts of Baalbek along the Syrian-Lebanese border.

AFP cited a security source as saying that at least one Hezbollah member was killed in the fighting on the Syrian side of the border.