Al-Qaeda shelling Hezbollah, Hezbollah shelling al-Qaeda, it’s all good.
BEIRUT (AP) — Eighteen rockets and mortars rounds from Syria slammed into Lebanon on Saturday, the largest cross-border salvo to hit a Hezbollah stronghold since Syrian rebels threatened to retaliate for the Lebanese militant group’s armed support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The rockets targeted the Baalbek region, the latest sign that Syria’s civil war is increasingly destabilizing Lebanon. On Friday, the Lebanese parliament decided to put off general elections, originally scheduled for June, by 17 months, blaming a deteriorating security situation in the country.
Over the past week, Syrian rebels have fired dozens of rockets on Lebanon’s northeastern region of Hermel, across the border from Qusair, but Saturday’s attack was the first on the Baalbek region, a Hezbollah stronghold.
Sixteen rockets and mortar rounds hit Baalbek early Saturday, igniting fires in fields but causing no casualties. Lebanese security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said the villages of Yanta, Brital and Saraeen were among the areas struck. Lebanon’s National News Agency said two more rockets hit the Baalbek area on Saturday evening.
Also Saturday, gunmen opened fire on a Shiite shrine in the town of Baalbek in an attack that could worsen frictions between Lebanon’s Shiites and Sunnis. The shrine of Sayida Khawla, a great granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad, was attacked shortly after midnight, a security official said.