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Border countries: Syria, Israel

Part of Lebanese territory, the Shebaa Farms, is occupied by Israel. In addition, the non-international armed conflicts in Syria have spilled over into Lebanese territory.

Lebanon is involved in an armed conflict with Israel due to the latter’s occupation of the Shebaa Farms, which are part of Lebanese territory.

The Lebanon-based armed group Hezbollah supports the Syrian government in the armed conflict, but Lebanon is not a party to the conflict. B. Mroue, ‘Hezbollah Chief Says Group is Fighting in Syria’, Associated Press, 25 May 2013. However, during the last years, the non-international armed conflicts in Syria have repeatedly spilled over into Lebanese territory, with the Islamic State group and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra) fighters being present along the border and repeatedly attacking positions within Lebanon. J. Wood, ‘Hizbollah Declares War on ISIL’, The National, 11 June 2015. After Jabhat Fatah al-Sham had briefly seized control of the Lebanese town of Arsal, serious clashes took place between the group and Lebanese armed forces in August 2014. 'Syrian Fighters Pull Out of Lebanon’s Arsal’, Al Jazeera, 7 August 2014; A. Dziadosz, ‘Lebanese Army Advances in Border Battle with Islamists’, Reuters, 4 August 2014. The Lebanese armed forces continue to undertake regular military operations against Syrian armed groups in the border area. In July 2017, the Syrian armed forces and Hezbollah launched an operation against the Islamic State group and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham along the Lebanese-Syrian border, including inside Lebanese territory. D. Walsh, ‘Hezbollah and Syrian Army Attack Islamists on Lebanon Border’, The New York Times, 21 July 2017; L. Bassam and T. Perry, ‘Hezbollah, Syria Army Launch Offensive at Syrian-Lebanese Border’Reuters, 21 July 2017. However, the Lebanese army announced that it was not coordinating with the Syrian forces. ‘No Coordination Between Lebanon and Syrian Armies Against IS: Lebanese Military Sources’, Reuters, 5 August 2017.  In August 2017, Lebanon and Hezbollah concluded an agreement with the Islamic State group to evacuate its fighters and civilians from an Islamic State group enclave along the Syrian-Lebanese border in an attempt to free its borders from militants and in exchange for the bodies of killed Lebanese fighters. R. Nordland, 'U.S. Airstrikes Block Convoy Transferring ISIS Fighters', The New York Times, 30 August 2017; 'Refugees and Fighters in Lebanon's Arsal Head for Syria', Al Jazeera, 14 August 2017; R. Hall, 'The US Bomb Path of ISIS Convoy in Syria After a Controversial Withdrawal Deal', PRI, 30 August 2017.

Last updated: Monday 23rd October 2017