Lebanese security forces are currently battling and influx terrorists entering the country across their nearby border with Syria on Saturday. According to Middle East media outlets, at least 11 terrorists were killed.
According to several reports, including one from an American intelligence analyst, Nicholas Pearlman, the intense fighting started when al-Qaida-linked jihadists ambushed and seized a police station killing at least two officers and wounding several others.
The assailants included fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a radical Sunni organization that has invaded and occupied large areas in both Syria and Iraq, said Pearlman, who served with several police departments as an Islamic terrorism specialist.
The Lebanese town of Arsal, just across the border from Syria, was the scene of intense exchanges of gunfire in a firefight that was anticipated as a result of Syria's three-year-old civil war. "One of the major problems in Lebanon is the fact that many Syrians took refuge there and there are both Shi'ites and Sunnis, who are mortal enemies, in the region," Pearlman noted.
Besides military and police casualties, there also were three civilians killed and 16 security personnel -- soldiers and police -- were abducted by jihadists from Al Nusra Front, al-Qaida's branch in Syria, when the terrorists seized the police station.
Lebanese media claims that a total of seven soldiers have been killed in the violence, although Lebanese officials claimed the final tally of those killed or wounded is still unknown.
Lebanon and its people have been affected by the civil war in Syria -- where Sunni Muslim rebels are fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- from the very beginning of the conflict, when thousands of Syrians sought refuge on the Lebanese side of the border.
Arsal's population is largely Sunni but it's surrounded by predominately Shi'ite areas where people support the terrorist organization Hezbollah, the Iranian-supported and armed group that is fighting to help Assad's forces in Syria.
Hezbollah fighters had perpetrated a recent ambush on jihadists on the Syrian side of the border killing dozens of rebels from both Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Lebanon in the last few months experienced an increase in suicide-bomber attacks, car bombs, rocket explosions, abductions and small-arms battles that are blamed in the Syrians