The Syrian attack took place on Oct. 4 in the Arsal region near
Lebanon's eastern border. Officials said Russian-origin BTR-3
infantry-fighting vehicles fired and destroyed a former battery factory
contain Syrian refugees who fled the civil war in their country.
This marked the second reported Syrian incursion into Lebanon in as many
months. Lebanon has been accused by the regime of President Bashar Assad of
harboring Syrian rebels and defecting soldiers, Middle East Newsline reported.
"This is very serious," Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel, a former
president, said. "What took place was a serious breach of Lebanese
Opposition leaders called on the Lebanese Army to bolster defenses to
prevent Syrian incursions. They said the army must establish checkpoints and
border facilities near areas vulnerable to Syrian operations.
Officials said the Syrian force also attacked a Lebanese home in the
Bekaa. They acknowledged that the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Naji
Miqati has failed to protest the Syrian incursion.
"The agencies and the Lebanese Army are fulfilling their duties,"
Lebanese Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi said. "Everything else remains
Officials said about 5,000 Syrians have fled into Lebanon since the
revolt against Assad in March. They said the Assad regime has not
brought evidence that any of them was involved in attacks on Syrian
"We are awaiting for clarification from the security forces over what
took place in Arsal," Lebanese opposition parliamentarian Jamal Jarrah said.
The Syrian Islamic opposition was said to have been holding secret talks
with Lebanese Christian leaders regarding a post-Assad Syria. The
London-based daily A-Sharq Al Awsat reported on Oct. 6 that so-called
Salafists, said to share Al Qaida's philosophy, held five meetings with
Christian and Sunni political leaders over the last few months.
"Muslims and Christians are cooperating to make these meetings
successful," an informed source told the Saudi-owned newspaper.