Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Iran Condemns Islamic State’s Capture of Lebanese Border Town

Islamic State's First Foothold in Lebanon

Iran today strongly condemned Islamic State’s reach into Lebanon. The IS fighters this weekend seized the Lebanese border town of Arsal, on the Syrian border. Iranian foreign ministry’s spokeswoman said the Islamic State poses a danger to peace and stability of the region. (IRNA/Press TV, 5 August)

Ironically, Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah has been fighting inside Syria to defeat the Syrian opposition, but the Islamic State has been able to establish its control over eastern one-third of Syria and half of Iraq in the meantime, and is now establishing its first foothold in Hezbollah’s home turf of Lebanon.

Islamic State fighters, leading other Sunni militants from inside Syria, captured border town of Arsal after the Lebanese authorities on Friday detained a prominent member of the Syrian opposition there. The town is situated 124 kilometers (77 miles) northeast of Beirut. The militants took prisoner some 22 Lebanese army soldiers and an unknown number of police officers. Some 90,000 Syrian refugees live in Arsal.

It is not clear if the Islamic State wanted to use its foothold in Arsal to expand its reach into Lebanon, or if the attack came as retaliation for the detention of the rebel leader, Abu Ahmed al-Jumaa, who had recently declared his allegiance to the Islamic State.

Late on Tuesday, a 24-hour ceasefire was agreed between the Lebanese Army and the Islamic State. Lebanese security officials said the ceasefire started at 7 pm (1600 GMT) to allow time for a mediation team of Sunni clerics to investigate the fate of missing and detained soldiers.

The Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman did not say if Iran’s Quds Force or the Lebanese Hezbollah would get involved in a fight to dislodge the Islamic State’s fighters from Arsal.

Map credit: Aljazeera

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Something is not right.

How can a bunch of dudes on pickup trucks overcome professional soldiers?

Nader Uskowi said...

A bunch of dudes on pickup trucks cannot capture one-third of Syria, half of Iraq and now this, and all since January, unless their message resonates with local populations. But why?

Anonymous said...

Their message is not resonating with the locals. The locals are too scared to say anything.

Foreign players are helping obviously, but the recent capture of the northern syria army base, the dam in iraq, and now this Lebanese town makes one wonder whether they are receiving satellite derived Intel on where and when to attack.

The question you should be asking is who is helping isis with such Intel?

Anonymous said...

hezbollah proclaims that they have defeated the insurgents fighting the Assad dictatorship and now the insurgents show the Lebanese that hezbollah is nothing more than liars and fools working against Lebanon's interests and for the phonies of Tehran

Nader Uskowi said...

Anon 10:15 PM, if a big power supported you and gave you satellite-based intelligence, armed you, and provided finances, you still could not capture a third of Syria and half of Iraq, unless you had support among local populations. Conspiracy theory does not explain the successes of the Islamic State.

Anonymous said...

Lets just see whether they can hold on to this so called "foot hold" or whether this is just the isis version of the fsa lattakia "offensive" to try and get back their captured big wig,if nothing else it will allow the LA to start to get some licks in.I have to laugh tho,it seems that isis ambition is to literally make enemies of virtually everyone stretching from lebanon to iran,talk about biting off more than they can chew

Anonymous said...

oh really so you think this ISIS is very appealing to these deprived minorities? You may be correct. This is exactly what happened in Iran in 1979 and after 35 years they cannot get rid of this regime.

Anonymous said...

Real showdown is when Caliphate fighters take territory from their biggest enemy which is Iran. islamic republic army talks alot but those are just words.

Nader Uskowi said...

The Islamic State hardly mentions Iran in its recent publications. They are probably focused on creating a state in western Iraq/eastern Syria.

Anonymous said...

Iraq Airforce ( Iranian SU-25 ) killed scores of IS fighters'

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/iraq-airstrike-kills-scores-fighters-2014861327746445.html

Anonymous said...

operations on Iranian territory are unlikely at this point. should Iran fail to negotiate a deal guaranteeing full inspections insuring that Iran's nuclear weapons development program is no longer active, perhaps then Riyadh and co. will green-light operations inside Iran.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous August 6, 2014 at 3:41 PM
That would be pretty hard for them to do without a large disaffected sunni minority inside iran to take advantage of and the last time a group of terrorists tried to invade iran from iraq they were almost completely wiped out

Anonymous said...

3:41PM

How how will IS operate in Iran when only a fraction of the population is Sunni, most of them being Kurds who despise IS and the rest on the other side of Iran? Secondly, IS is not under Saudi control - at least not anymore. After consolidating power and securing steady flow of cash from black market oil sales and tax levies on the populations IS rules, they do not need Saudi donors. I would argue IS poses an even greater threat to the Saudi monarchy than it does to Iran. Saudi Arabia's recent donation of $1 billion to the Lebanese army and situating 30,000 troops on the border while asking Pakistan to send troops to guard Saudi Arabia are indicative of this fact.

Anonymous said...

AnonymousAugust 7, 2014 at 5:28 AM
I agree,well said.Once again the saudis/gulf states have created a terrorist monster that they cannot control and who now threatens to turn on them,when are these cretins going to learn their lesson

Anonymous said...

they won't be operating to attempt to establish control over swathes of Iran. they'll be hitting and running and making things explode

Anonymous said...

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=188_1407444516 --- The establishment of the Caliphate