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Concerns rise in Lebanon as another soldier defects

A handful of soldiers have defected from the Lebanese army to join Jabhat al-Nusra, which has caused concern among the Lebanese that it might become a trend.
A Lebanese soldier uses a pair of binoculars in the Shebaa area of southern Lebanon, as he looks towards an Israeli position near the border with Israel October 8, 2014. An attack by Hezbollah on Lebanon's border with Israel which wounded two Israeli soldiers was a message that the group remained ready to confront its old foe despite its engagement in Syria's civil war, the group's deputy leader said. The soldiers were wounded by a bomb planted by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters in the Shebaa hills, drawing Isr
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BEIRUT — A few defections in the ranks of the Lebanese army have provoked some alarm, the latest being soldier Khaled Shmatieh, who defected Oct. 20 and announced his allegiance to Jabhat al-Nusra. Shmatieh announced that he “repudiates this tyrannical and miscreant army before God,” as he put it in a video posted on Al-Manara al-Bayda’ channel, which is affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusra.

The statement included sectarian insinuations and exploited the state of repression and the feeling of injustice that has been growing among Sunnis in Lebanon due to their rejection of Hezbollah’s policies, and especially its involvement alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces against the aspirations of the Sunni majority in Syria.

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