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BEIRUT – Syrian militants attacked a military point manned by members of the Shiite Hezbollah movement in eastern Lebanon, a Lebanese security source said Saturday.

Takeen, Hamza.  “Syrian militants attack Hezbollah point in Lebanon.”  Turkish Press, May 3, 2014.

Hezbolla’s Spring 2013 entry into the Syrian Civil War brought criticism from Lebanese preferring to stay out of the fray; now, about a year later, anti-Assad insurgents in Hezbollah’s backyard appear to have drawn to their presence — but probably not their precise location — Assad Hezbollah-support attacks in the villages of Tfeil and Brital, Lebanon.

Tfeil, an isolated village of about 4,000 souls has been especially punished between armies as it has been hosting some 10,000 Syrian refugees with some association with anti-Assad forces.  This version of possible “human shielding’ — or simply swimming in the population (good ol’ Mao) — has led to siege interrupted only by a so far one-time relief stop by Lebanese Defense Forces.

The scenario promoted by the Assad regime to justify bombing in Lebanon appears problematic:

Local officials have denied reports that the town harbors armed Syrian rebels and smugglers supplying opposition forces across the border. “A void accusation,” said Ramadan Asaad Dekkou, the town’s mukhtar. “There is no presence of armed men in the town. We have… set up civilian checkpoints along the border carrying Lebanese flags to assure that only civilians enter the village for refuge,” he told NOW.

Elali, Nadine.  “Tfeil: A Lebanese village under siege.”  NOW.  April 17, 2014.

Be that as it may for Tfeil, this quote has been published recently in relation to fighting in Brital, Lebanon:

“The day in which we will raise the banner of Islam in Brital is nearing, and our battle against Hizbullah is open-ended until we clear the Islamic Emirate of the Bekaa of the party,”

Naharnet.  “Syrian Gunmen, ‘Hizbullah Fighters’ Clash in Brital Plains, ISF Denies Corporal Arrested.” May 3, 2014.

How is Lebanon to defend its border town against Syrian barrel bomb attacks where Hezbollah is the primary political power in the space, fully aligned with the Syrian government and the related Putin-Assad-Khamenei axis, and disinclined or unable itself to eject interlopers or enforce Lebanese neutrality?

Additional Reference

Syrian Freedom.  “Tfeil residents: “They made fools of us.”  May 2, 2014.

NOW.  “Medicine sent to besieged town of Tfeil.”  April 29, 2014.

Al Aribiya.  “Lebanon secures aid to village trapped in Syria war.”  April 22, 2014.

NOW.  “Mashnouq: Tfeil resuce plan to start Tuesday.”  April 21, 2014.

Filkins, Dexter.  “Hezbollah Widens the Syrian War.”  The New Yorker, May 26, 2013.

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