A new surge of violence hit the Lebanese district of Arsal near the Syrian border, as heavy clashes broke out on Tuesday between Islamic State (ISIS) militants and the al-Qaeda splinter group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
ISIS initiated the clashes by attacking a checkpoint for the Fateh al-Sham in the Malahi neighbourhood of Arsal, using mortar shells. Scores of Fateh al-Sham fighters were killed in the attack, and ISIS eventually took over the checkpoint, local sources reported on Tuesday.
“Fateh al-Sham fighters responded by storming an ISIS security checkpoint in the al-Shir district near the Arsal border heights,” a media source close to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham told ARA News.
At least 15 ISIS militants were killed at the hands of Fateh al-Sham fighters, before the group took over the ISIS security checkpoint in al-Shir.
Both ISIS and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham [previously al-Nusra Front] hold positions in the Arsal region and al-Qaa heights near the Lebanese-Syrian border.
In August 2014, ISIS militants attacked a Lebanese Army base and took dozens of soldiers as hostages, nine of them are still held by the militant group.