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NOW

Arsal besieged between
sandbags and checkpoints

BEIRUT - As soon as the news concerning the Lebanese Armed Forces’ interception of an explosive-laden car at the entrance of Arsal near Labweh, the residents of the town became even more concerned especially that they had been anxious about rumors that Syrian regime forces and Hezbollah fighters might be about to attack their town.

 

Thousands of refugees have been flooding Arsal from the (Syrian) coastal villages as well as Falita and Yabrud as they escaped the battles taking place in these areas.

 

Meanwhile, security sources told NOW that the LAF has erected concrete barricades and placed sandbags on the road connecting Arsal to the Syrian town of Maara.

 

The residents of Arsal were shocked by the information concerning the  explosive-laden car that was discovered on Wednesday as well as the details concerning the three women riding the car from Arsal, especially that they had issued a communiqué condemning such violent acts.

 

As a result of strict security measures taken by security forces, several female teachers residing outside Arsal who work in the town’s schools  have been stopped and searched.

 

“Arsal is about to live in an earthquake”, the Deputy Municipality Chief of Arsal Ahmad al-Faliti said to NOW.

 

Al-Faliti insisted that “whoever was able to destabilize the Syrian revolution using ISIS and other groups… will have no problem on working on security plots which will harm the interests of Arsal and its families and will only serve their own interests.”

 

He added: “The [pro-Syrian] media since the beginning of the Syrian revolution intended to destroy the reputation of Arsal. Sending us a booby trapped car driven by a woman is the cherry on top.”

 

 “Before this incident the families of Arsal were trying to see with an open mind what was happening next door. After today, however, everything has changed,” Faliti told NOW when asked about Arsal’s relations with its neighbors in the region.

 

Faliti said that while the communiqué was being read from Labweh, Hezbollah was taking hostile steps by setting up chekpoints on the road leading from Labweh to Arsal.

 

He also called for overcoming disagreements and hostility caused by the diverging stances on the Syrian crisis.

 

“We are against having our own police and we have asked a thousand times that the LAF deploy on the borders as well as close illegal crossings into the country. [We ask]  not to be blamed and put in charge of guarding the  borders.”

 

Meanwhile, the residents of Arsal are terrorized after reading on various Facebook accounts linked to the Syrian regime rumors that the regime is ready to attack and occupy Arsal.

Arsal is about to live in an earthquake.