Monday, May 20, 2013

Hezbollah steps up Syria battle, Israel threatens more strikes

Lebanese Hezbollah militants attacked a Syrian rebel-held town alongside Syrian troops on Sunday and Israel threatened more attacks on Syria to rein the militia in, highlighting the risks of a wider regional conflict if planned peace talks fail.

Activists said it was the fiercest fighting in Syria's two year-old civil war involving Hezbollah, a Shi'ite group backed by Iran which they said appeared to be helping President Bashar al-Assad secure a vital corridor in case Syria fragments.

Speaking from Qusair near the border with Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, activist Hadi Abdallah said Syrian warplanes bombed the town in the morning and shells were hitting the town at a rate of up to 50 a minute. At least 52 people were killed.