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Arsal clashes a threat to Lebanon's future

The outcome of the clashes in Arsal between the Lebanese army and fundamentalists supporting the Syrian opposition may hold the key to how Lebanon can resolve its political crises.
Lebanese army soldiers stand near their vehicles at the entrance leading to Arsal August 3, 2014. Following the death of eight Lebanese soldiers killed in clashes with Islamist militants in the area on Saturday, the Lebanese army deployed more troops around the town of Arsal, near the Syrian border. REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY) - RTR41268

Over the last two days, the Lebanese army has been facing its most serious challenge as a military institution since May 2007. The Lebanese government is now facing the difficult test that it has been anticipating since the outbreak of the Syria crisis in March 2011.

Violent clashes broke out in Arsal between Lebanese army units and armed supporters of the Syrian opposition in the early afternoon of Aug. 2. Arsal, a town in the eastern Bekaa Valley, lies along the Syrian border.

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