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Lebanese forces scramble to border

BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 21 (UPI) — The Lebanese military stormed locations along its eastern border with Syria in response to alleged rebel and weapons movement, a security official said.

The Syrian government last week warned Lebanon it would respond with force to cross-border activity. Last week marked the anniversary of the 2005 revolution in Lebanon that broke Syria’s grip on the country’s political affairs.

Lebanese authorities this week said Syrian rockets landed about 6 miles into its territory. A security source told The Daily Star newspaper that Lebanese forces raided several border locations Thursday after Syrian rebels took control of key areas in the region.

“One source said the Free Syrian Army had carried out a military operation and taken full control of the area in Syria three days ago with the aim of facilitating the transfer of arms and gunmen across the border with Lebanon,” the newspaper report stated.

A spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army said rockets fired from Hezbollah positions in Lebanon struck Syrian provinces along the border in early March.

European Neighborhood Policy Commissioner Stefan Fule said during his recent trip to Beirut that concerns that Syria’s civil war would spill across the border were growing.

The United Nations estimates at least 70,000 people died and more than 1 million are displaced from fighting that began in Syria in March 2011.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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