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October 21 2013

Syria : Battle for Qalamoun May Be Felt in Lebanon

Syria: Battle for Qalamoun May Be Felt in Lebanon http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2013/10/syria-opposition-qalamun-battle-qusair.html

The Qalamoun battle may have repercussions on the Lebanese interior because Liwa al-Islam, which is led by Zahran Alloush, has become the main opposition force on Lebanon’s eastern slopes in Arsal al-Ward, the Rankous Plain, and Hawsh al-Arab. That threat is serious because Alloush, who has set up his base of operations in the area, has returned from a visit to Saudi Arabia last week, where he met his financial and military authority, the director of Saudi intelligence Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Bandar holds a strong military card with which to pressure the Lebanese interior: the deployment on the outskirts of the Bekaa of 3,000 to 5,000 Liwa al-Islam fighters and an armed battalion having 23 T-72 tanks.

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