A long chain of criticism delayed the settlement reached between the government, Lebanese military and Sunni fundamentalist gunmen to end the clashes in Arsal. Yet, ministerial and partisan figures directly engaged in the agreement confirmed to Al-Monitor that “the matter is not yet over, and that the truce declared on the night of Thursday, Aug. 7, marked no more than the conclusion of the first round of the war.”
As previously reported, the clashes began in this border region between Lebanon and Syria on Aug. 2. These clashes followed the Lebanese army’s detention of an individual wanted for his involvement with terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda. Afterward, fundamentalist militants from the Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat al-Nusra launched a string of attacks against Lebanese military outposts, killing more than 20 members of the Lebanese Armed Forces and capturing 42 Lebanese members of the security forces, 22 from the army and 20 from the Internal Security Forces.