Battle of Arsal (2014)

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On 2 August 2014, after Lebanese security forces arrested an al-Nusra Front commander, fighters from al-Nusra Front and ISIL surrounded Lebanese Army checkpoints in Arsal before attacking them and storming the northeastern town's police station, where they took at least 16 policemen hostage.[11][12] The militants then proceeded to take control of the town,[13] and captured two soldiers who were freed by the military later in the day.[11] The fighting continued into the next day and left 30 militants,[14] 10 soldiers and two civilians dead. 25 soldiers were wounded and 13 were missing and presumed captured.[15] Two of the missing soldiers were rescued the same day.[16]

On 4 August, the death toll had risen to 17 soldiers,[17] 50 civilians and 50 militants. 86 soldiers had been wounded and the number of missing had reached 22,[6] while 135 civilians and 15 militants were wounded.[18] Two of the dead civilians were infant Syrian refugees.[19] The military had advanced and captured[6] the technical institute building, which was seized by the militants the previous day,[16] as the town came under heavy shell fire from multiple directions. [20] In the evening, the Army also managed to capture Ras al-Serj hill.[21]

On 5 August, the military was attempting to capture two government buildings, while three soldiers and three policemen were released by the militants.[21] During the day's fighting, the ISIL commander for the Arsal area was reportedly killed,[1] while al-Nusra forces retreated from the town.[22] In the evening, a 24-hour cease-fire started.[13]

On 6 August, another three soldiers were released, while 10 soldiers and 17 policemen remained as captives.[23]

By 7 August, a fragile truce was established as ISIL forces also retreated from the town and redeployed along the border with Syria.[2][24][10] Their hideouts there were subsequently bombed by the Syrian Air Force, resulting in dozens of wounded militants. On 22 July 2017 hezbollah controlled 90% of jroud arssal.[25]

Two days later, the Lebanese Army entered Arsal in full force and re-established control over checkpoints that the militants had previously seized, while another soldier died of his wounds, bringing the military death toll to 18,[26] which was updated to 19 by 12 August. 60 militants were also confirmed dead,[4] as well as 42 civilians. The total number of civilians wounded was estimated at 400.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "ISIS commander killed in Arsal clashes: report". The Daily Star. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Lebanon: Islamist militants threaten to reinvade Ersal unless conditions are met". Al Akhbar English. 7 August 2014. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Hezbollah prepares major offensive against ISIL".
  4. ^ a b c "Kahwagi: Army will do utmost to free hostages". The Daily Star. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Captured soldiers: They will kill us, if Hezbollah remains in Syria". 23 August 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Dziadosz, Alexander. "Lebanese army advances in border battle with Islamists". Reuters. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  7. ^ 2 freed (2 Aug.),[1] 2 freed (3 Aug.),[2] 6 freed (5 Aug.),[3] 3 freed (6 Aug.),[4] 2 freed (17 Aug.),[5] 5 freed (30 Aug.),[6] 16 freed (1 Dec. 2015),[7] total of 36 freed
  8. ^ Syria's al-Qaeda branch Nusra Front to swap Lebanese soldiers for prisoners
  9. ^ Lebanon identifies bodies of soldiers killed while in IS hands
  10. ^ a b c Holmes, Oliver (7 August 2014). "Militants pull out of Lebanese border town with captives". Reuters. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  11. ^ a b "8 Lebanon soldiers killed in Syria border clashes". Channel NewsAsia. 3 August 2014. Archived from the original on 15 October 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Jihadists Extend Control Into Lebanese City". New York Times. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  13. ^ a b Mariam Karouny; Tom Perry (6 August 2014). "Ceasefire agreed in Lebanese border town battle". The Star. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  14. ^ "11 soldiers, 30 militants killed in east Lebanon". The Daily Star. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Lebanon suffers heavy losses in clashes with jihadists near Syria". AFP. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Lebanon army advances against militants, death toll rises". The Daily Star. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Thousands flee as Lebanon battles Syrian militants". Associated Press. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  18. ^ Dziadosz, Alexander (3 August 2014). "Lebanese army tries to expel Syria-linked militants from border town". Reuters. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  19. ^ "Residents flee Arsal amid heavy clashes". The Daily Star. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  20. ^ "Border Fighting Intensifies Between ISIS and Lebanon". New York Times. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Truce collapses, clashes renew in northeast Lebanon". The Daily Star. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  22. ^ "Deal reached: ISIS to leave Arsal, soldiers to be released". The Daily Star. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  23. ^ "Sunni fighters, Lebanese army extend fragile cease-fire in border town". Al Jazeera America. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  24. ^ "Refugee convoy leaving Arsal stopped at border". NOW. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  25. ^ "Efforts underway to free captured Lebanese soldiers". The Daily Star. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  26. ^ "Lebanese Army enters Arsal in full force". The Daily Star. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°10′46″N 36°25′15″E / 34.1794°N 36.4208°E / 34.1794; 36.4208



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