Syria’s army forces backed by Lebanese Hezbollah took control of Syrian territory surrounding the Lebanese village of Tfail, a Lebanese security source says.
Some 70 militants surrendered to the Syrian army and handed over their arms, the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Daily Star on Saturday.
Syria has launched a military offensive to root out militants in regions bordering Lebanon and Saturday’s operation succeeded in gaining control of the outskirts of Tfail on the Syrian side.
Syrian militants who were in Tfail along with their families were allowed to return to Syria, the source said.
Dozens of Lebanese families have abandoned the village in recent days, fleeing clashes between the Syrian army and militants.
Tfail is located east of Brital on a promontory of Lebanese territory surrounded on three sides by Syria and has almost been completely isolated as a result of the conflict in the neighboring country.
The Lebanese government was able to send two aid convoys with food and medical supplies into the village last month with the help of Hezbollah.
The Federation of Aid and Development Organizations in Lebanon asked the government Saturday to intervene to save the village and its residents, saying the village had been taken over.
There was no resistance against those who entered the village, which only means that the residents are peaceful and there were no militants inside the village, a statement by the federation said.
The federation said “hundreds of women, children and elderly people, both Lebanese and Syrian refugees, have fled Tfail to surrounding mountains and valleys and we do not know what happened to them.”
One killed in Israeli-held Golan
Meanwhile, an attack from inside Syria on Sunday killed a 15-year-old on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the first fatality on Israel's side of the frontier since the Syrian conflict began, the military said.
A military spokesman said it was not yet clear whether a roadside bomb or an artillery shell or mortar round, fired from Syria across the frontier fence on the Golan, had struck the water tanker in which the group had been travelling, Reuters reported.
"This is the most substantial event that we have had on the border with Syria since the beginning of the (Syrian civil) war," the spokesman said.
Israeli tanks fired at Syrian army positions in response.
Security officials initially said a civilian contractor for Israel's Defense Ministry was killed in an explosion. But they later said that a youth, aged 15, who accompanied him, had died and that two other people were wounded.
Shelling from the Syrian civil war has occasionally spilled over onto the Golan, including what Israel has said were deliberate attacks on its troops.
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