“The Lebanese Army statement said its casualties from three days of fighting totaled 14 soldiers killed, 86 wounded and 22 missing, with at least some of them presumed captured by the militants. More than 20 Islamist fighters were also believed to have been killed, but it was impossible to determine their precise casualties.” Full story here.
“Hezbollah has taken a decision to step back from the confrontation with ISIS in Arsal and leave the mission to the Lebanese Army … Hezbollah is not looking to get tied up in an open-ended battle in Arsal and has limited its role to providing logistical support to the Lebanese Army as it did in the latter’s battle in Abra last year, the official said. However, the party has deemed the 11 kilometers separating Arsal from Labweh, a bastion of support for Hezbollah, a red line which could trigger the party’s direct intervention. Party leadership considers control of this stretch crucial to limiting the spread of ISIS, tightening control over all Lebanese areas and driving Syrian militants back into Syria.”