Early this morning, the Syrian Air Force struck insurgent positions in Eastern Lebanon. More specifically, a combined force of Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda) and ISIS (Islamic State) militants were targeted at Jaroud Rankous near Arsal on the Syrian-Lebanese border. Furthermore, multiple Syrian airstrikes were launched on Jaroud Qarah and Ras Ba’albak in what seems to have been a well prepared raid.
This area remains a vital strategic border-crossing and one of Jabhat al-Nusra’s last paths to enter Syria and the Qalamoun Mountains. The Syrian-Lebanese border is almost entirely controlled by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Lebanese paramilitary Hezbollah; nevertheless, a small rebel force still continues to dispute the SAA-Hezbollah hegemony.
The Lebanese government maintains a stated policy of neutrality in regards of the Syrian conflict; however, the Syrian government has been given the green light to use Lebanese airspace to strike Islamist insurgents on the vicinity of the Syrian border.