Hezbollah fighter, 5 Syrian rebels killed in border fighting

AMMAN Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:49pm IST

Related Topics

AMMAN (Reuters) - At least one Hezbollah guerrilla and five Syrian rebels have been killed in fighting in Syrian territory on the border with Lebanon, nearby Lebanese residents and Syrian opposition sources said on Sunday.

Hadi al-Abdallah of the Syrian Revolution General Commission said fighting broke out on Saturday after Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, who are in control of eight Syrian border villages, tried to expand their sphere by moving into three adjacent Sunni villages that were in the hands of the rebel Syrian Free Army.

"The Hezbollah force moved on foot and was supported by multiple rocket launchers. The Free Syrian Army had to call in two tanks that had been captured from the Assad army to repel the attack," Abdallah told Reuters.

Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah guerrillas based in the Bekaa Valley on the other side of the border, which is not demarcated, moved into the area last year. Four of the villages they had captured are inhabited by co-religionists while the other four villages are mixed with Sunni Muslim and Shi'ite residents.

Iranian-backed Hezbollah, one of Lebanon's strongest political factions, is a main ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and says that dialogue between him and Syrian rebels will be the only way to defuse Syria's 23-month-old conflict.

Assad belongs to the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam that has dominated power in Syria since the 1960s. The border area near the town of Qusair, which is in the grip of the mainly Sunni rebels, is an important supply route for insurgents under siege in the central city of Homs.

(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

KOREA FERRY TRAGEDY

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Three dead in east Ukraine, Putin warns of "abyss".  Full Article | Related Story 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Death toll from Guinea Ebola outbreak rises to 122.  Full Article 

Putin Talks

Putin Talks

Runaway spy Snowden is surprise guest on Putin phone-in.  Full Article 

Missing Airliner

Missing Airliner

Search for Malaysia Airlines jet refocuses on drone scans of seafloor  Full Article 

U.S.-Japan Summit

U.S.-Japan Summit

Obama, Abe to battle negative images at U.S.-Japan summit.  Full Article 

Blogger Released

Blogger Released

China releases blogger on bail, jails another amid rumour crackdown   Full Article 

China Pollution

China Pollution

Beijing's bid to move polluting firms watched warily in nearby regions  Full Article 

Holy Week

Holy Week

The Christian faithful celebrate Holy Week, the week which leads into Easter Sunday.  Slideshow 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage