Syrian military helicopter fires on Lebanese town


June 12, 2013

June 12, 2013

By Syria Direct

AMMAN: The Lebanese army announced on Wednesday that a Syrian military helicopter had crossed into Lebanese air space and fired two missiles towards the village of Arsal, injuring a civilian and incurring property damage.

“At 1:50 this afternoon, a military helicopter coming from Syria breached Lebanese airspace above Arsal, where it fired two missiles from a distance in the direction of the city’s square,” the army said in a statement quoted by the official National News Agency. One civilian was injured, according to the report.

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Map by: Abdulrahman Al-Masri

The statement added that army units were “immediately deployed in the area” in accordance with defensive protocols.

Arsal is a Sunni Muslim village about 25km west of the Syrian border

On Tuesday, the Al-Farouq Battalion based in Homs province said that it sent seven Grad rockets into the Hezbollah-stronghold town of Hermel the same day. Al-Farouq said in a statement that it targeted Hezbollah sites in the town and had “scored direct and accurate hits.”

Hezbollah’s television station Al-Manar reported that eight rockets fell on the Baqaa Valley town a handful of kilometers from Lebanon’s border, while the official Lebanese news agency reported that two landed in Hermel, with “one hitting a house” and “another falling in a field near the house.” Minutes later, the National News Agency reported, “another couple of rockets fell in the same area without casualties.”

These incidents occur amidst rising concerns that the violence in Syria is beginning to spill over into Lebanon. On Sunday, a Lebanese protester was shot and killed outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut during an anti-Hezbollah demonstration, reportedly by a Hezbollah supporter. Later that same day, as many as 10,000 protesters, including a significant Syrian contingent, staged an anti-Hezbollah rally in Sidon.

At both the Beirut and Sidon demonstrations, protesters condemned Hezbollah’s recent deployment of militia fighters into Syria, sent to assist the regime in combating the rebels.

The Syrian state media did not comment on the alleged attack.

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