Travel Alert – Lebanon – Conflict…

Drum Cussac has issued this latest warning for people living or traveling in the country of Lebanon.  This information is available to GeoBlue plan members from the GeoBlue website daily…

Hezbollah Units Clash with Sunni Extremist Fighters in Eastern Bekaa Valley

Category: Conflict

Severity: 4 (High)

Source: Drum Cussac

10/06/2014 (Lebanon) – Media reports indicate that Hezbollah units clashed with Sunni extremist fighters in the eastern Bekaa Valley on the afternoon of Sunday, 5 October. Militants linked to al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State (IS) have infiltrated Lebanon and targeted Hezbollah positions in the area of Brital, south of Baalbek. The assailants briefly gained control of Hezbollah positions but Shiite militants later forced the attackers to flee the area. The fighting resulted in the death of at least 14 Sunni extremist fighters and approximately five Hezbollah militiamen.

The fighting in the Brital area comes against the backdrop of a sustained offensive led by Sunni extremist insurgents in western Syria, in the Qalamoun region. Insurgents have been targeting Hezbollah positions in the area in an attempt to regain territory they have lost along the Lebanese border. The latest fighting in eastern Lebanon highlights the volatile security environment in the country’s areas bordering Syria. Sunni extremist insurgents have been stepping up their operations in areas between Hermel and Baalbek in an attempt to expand their operations and gain a foothold in Lebanon. The bulk of the fighting has so far occurred in the Arsal region. However, periodic suicide attacks, rocket and mortar fire as well as roadside bombs and small-to medium-scale infantry operations have been reported throughout the eastern border area.

Hezbollah fighters have reportedly mounted an operation to dislodge Sunni extremist fighters in the mountainous region along the Lebanon-Syria border. The ongoing operation is likely to result in further fighting in the country’s eastern regions in the immediate term. Clients are advised to reconsider all non-essential travel to the northeastern border region given the heightened conflict and terrorism risk. Personnel with operations in areas between Hermel and Baalbek are advised to monitor the situation by liaising with local security officials to identify no-go areas due to militancy or military operations. For the immediate- to short-term outlook, clashes and spontaneous outbursts of violence are likely to remain a threat to security. Personnel should have emergency contingency and evacuation plans in place in the event that the security environment becomes untenable.

Copyright © 2014 Drum Cussac

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